Sami Benhadj / Tarik Hayward
How can one work for the most different clients and still develop a distinctive signature? The two visual designers Sami Benhadj and Tarik Hayward and their label 'Körner Union' are a case in point. They wrest an unusual aspect from each assignment: for the publication 'Swiss Federal Design Grants 2005', published by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, they were asked to portray the winners in their studios. This brief could easily have led to conventional portraits. As was to be expected the designers are portrayed within their studio surroundings, for example in front of a computer. The computer however is involved in such a dense tangle of wires that one is taken aback. Has someone manipulated something, has someone exaggerated the chaos of wires? For another assignment they pushed the alienation effect even further: for an art centre near Paris – on Chatouisland, which was visited more than hundred years ago by Impressionist painters with their easels – 'Körner Union' took six pictures of the garden area, knowing that it had been fully reconstructed a few years ago. What could have resulted in conventional, 'beautiful' pictures turned out as something very anti-idyllic. For what one would expect as a mandatory component of a garden photography is artfully excluded: the blue sky. Where one would gaze in the distance, there are light blue studio backgrounds installed on stands. This drastic action causes a claustrophobic effect: the actual daylight is subdued; whereas the light blue of the artificial sky radiates an intrusive colourfulness. This does not fit very well together and refers ironically to the artificiality of the location. The documentation is developed in a wilful manner, so to say in a friendly infiltration of the assignment. 'Körner Union' convinces with works that follow a strong concept and in a sensual and playful way challenge the beholder's habits of seeing. Picture series evolve from unspectacular briefs which manage to captivate the beholder's attention for longer than common pictures.
designer HES en communication visuelle