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Project    Peoples Calendar

Media nowadays give a heavily diminished and blurred look at reality

 
Katarína Balážiková   98   333cm
 

Jan Van Toorn became in the 70's more interested in the media. They have influenced the development of his thinking about design. Van Toorn was influenced by the German poet and cultural critic Hans Magnus Enzensberger, who spoke about repressive and emancipatory media and the question of who manipulates the media: "The media have a centralized program, a single transmitter and a lot of receivers with the aim of immobilizing the individual. They support passive reception and depoliticizing. Emancipatory media, on the contrary, support emancipation and creation of feedback, contribute to political engagement, are created together, collectively and autonomously."

Van Toorn himself often returns to the media, and in his texts he claims that the media nowadays give a heavily diminished and blurred look at reality, its paintings only slightly highlight the real social relationships.

His work was heavily influenced by the media and its manipulation. We can see this approach in the 1972/73 Calendar, which he created for Mart.Spruijt. Among the portraits of random, ordinary people, he took the shocking and controversial photographs of Horst Faas and Michael Laurent from the media, documenting Bengal gangs killing three prisoners to escape in Dacca, Bangladesh. Without explaining these photos he wanted to communicate, that the report and the topic were very up to date. Jan van Toorn "so violently brought politics into everyday life and reality (nothing is so everyday as a calendar)".

author of the text: Katarína Balážiková
license: Attribution-ShareAlike
 
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20–05–2017   01–05–1972

Jan van Toorn, Peoples Calendar for Mart Spruijt, cover,1972/73

author: Jan van Toorn
license: Licenced by author of the image, please contact author personally.

Jan van Toorn, Peoples Calendar for Mart Spruijt, October 1972, Angela Davis

author: Jan van Toorn
license: Licenced by author of the image, please contact author personally.

Jan van Toorn, Peoples Calendar for Mart Spruijt, August 1972, Bengal guerrillas killing prisoners in Daccu, in 1971

author: Jan van Toorn
license: Licenced by author of the image, please contact author personally.

Jan van Toorn, Peoples Calendar Mart Spruijt, July 1972, politicians

author: Jan van Toorn
license: Licenced by author of the image, please contact author personally.

Jan van Toorn, Peoples Calendar for Mart Spruijt, February 1973, advertisment

author: Jan van Toorn
license: Licenced by author of the image, please contact author personally.

Jan van Toorn, Peoples Calendar for Mart Spruijt, May-June 1972, woman in Amsterdame

author: Jan van Toorn
license: Licenced by author of the image, please contact author personally.

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Anna Ulahelová 25–05–2017 16:02

I think that the role of media and their manipulation of informations is nowadays stronger then ever. In this case I like that the project show us that this problem has actually long history. As well as it shows how visual production influence our thinking about importance of information.