TEST PRESS is a display of student publications from the archive of designer, collector and teacher Henk Groenendijk. These publications have been produced by students of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (NL) over a period of 20 years.
The publications in the archive have been collected as a byproduct to many years of teaching and balance on the fine line between the classroom and the world beyond education. They highlight a transition from what in the late 90s was referred to as ‘Dutch Design’, becoming more international and open, removed from an imposed national style. The archive is made up of more than 400 publications (often unique or produced in small print runs) and has a large variety of methods, aesthetics and topics ranging through language, typography, and contemporary visual culture to name a few.
For TEST PRESS, Henk Groenendijk is opening up this archive and putting it on full view. Within it are curated selections by a number of guests: Riet Wijnen (artist & curator, Amsterdam), Lies Ros (member of design studio Wild Plakken, Amsterdam), Åbäke (design collective, London/Paris), Kate Banar & Orin Bristow (graphic design graduates from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague 2019 & Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam 2018). Each selection offers its own, subjective view on the archive and in its own way proposes a different possibility of describing a canon. For the exhibition, a series of conversations filmed by Janna Meeus gives additional insight and reflection on the individual selections of the invitees.
The catalogue, published on occasion of the exhibition 'Le Palais de la Maçonnerie Typographique' at Le Bel Ordinaire, collects transcripts of conversations with the guests and curators, as well as reproductions of the selected publications.