An exhibition on the role of art in reimagining the city is at its strongest when it sticks to home turf, says Hannah Gregory
Visual Editions, the graphically-inclined publishers (Icon 122) commissioned 16 writers and artists to sketch out in words or pictures their ideas for a map close to their lives. Here is a collection of pieces, both fictional and essayistic, presented in the mode of "visual writing" – the synchrony of form and content that characterises the publisher's output.
Where You Are is not a book in the conventional sense, but a brick-sized box of pamphlets to be navigated or to become lost in. Each paper pamphlet is pleated and stapled to its own idiosyncratic design (by Bibliothèque), which often requires the dexterity of a frequent fondler of Ordnance Surveys to fold away.
A website complements the physical version, (www.where-you-are.com, designed by The Workers), a flat but spacious counterpart that despite its online situation feels enclosed and communal; readers are made aware of who else is reading their page. Some tales are integrated with Google Maps, while others explore how technology aids our mapping, such as James Bridle's piece on the Global Positioning System with diagrams that represent the satellites' first configurations.Visual Editions' collection of fictional and essayistic musings on maps excels when it moves to the margins, says Hannah Gregory.
Graphic designers and artists illustrate a fictional text off the page and in the museum. Hannah Gregory wanders around the story
With the 1948 “Austerity Olympics” as its starting point, the V&A surveys 60 years of British design, architecture and fashion. From punk posters to Laura Ashley florals, the exhibition questions contrived notions of national identity to reveal a country caught between modernity and nostalgia. Here’s our review.