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THROUGH THE BINOCULARS OF THE GRAPHIC COLLECTIVE - MAPPING HISTORY


GRIFON


The one of a kind project GRIFON, initiated/founded in 1996. by the Graphic Collective and Quadra Graphic, has been continuing the idea and concept behind the KONTAKT manifestation of the 70s and 80s - the overview, affirmation and critical evaluation of artworks produced within graphic design in our region. The qualities and organizational models behind the manifestation reflect the societal changes and developments in the culture of design, as well as its technical, media and aesthetic relations. GRIFON was conceived as a specialized biennial event, and has been providing a realistic insight into the graphic design production of Yugoslavia, and later on Serbia, Republika Srpska and Montenegro for over two decades. Apart from the standard categories such as publications, posters, packaging, promotional materials and typography, GRIFON values film, video and TV graphics, as well as visual identity and web design, in order to point out the extended possibilities of graphic design in the digital era. Along with individual artists, the exhibition showcases the works of design teams, studios and/or agencies, indicating the new market demands and the various forms within this creative field. The manifestation is accompanied by symposia, lectures and artist talks by designers and theoreticians. The respectability and high standards of the project can be seen from the participants - the artists, committee and jury members, critics and writers. All of them have achieved high professional results in the fields of contemporary art, art theory and criticism, design, media and communications - Bogdan Kršić, Ješa Denegri, Dušan Otašević, Lazar Džamić, Siniša Ilić, Lazar Bodroža, Branko Pavić, Milena Dragičević Šešić, Dragan Sakan, Radonja Leposavić, Jovan Čekić, Danijela Purešević, Stanko Crnobrnja, Boris Miljković, Zoran Blažina, Vladimir Perić, Miroslav Mušić, Milan Stevanović and Vladislav Ivanović as Quadra representatives, and others. There have been 12 GRIFON manifestations until now.


           


GRIFON laureates: Miloš Ilić (1996), Vladan Srdić (1998), Borut Vild (2000), Goran Patlejh (2002), Slavimir Stojanović (2004), Isidora Nikolić (2006), Igor Oršolić (2008), A3 Format group / Filip Bojović (2010), Jovana Budošan and Aleksandar Ilić (2012), Mekalinika Team (2014), Peter Gregson Studio Team (2016), Sofija Gavrilović and Velimir Andrejević (2018).
More about the prize and the laureates


     

Grifon 1996


Apart from the GRIFON award - prize money and a sculpture by Miroljub Stamenković, the laureates are awarded a chance to design the visual identity, catalogue and other materials for the next GRIFON project. The logo of GRIFON was created by Slobodan Manojlović.
More about catalogues of Grifon exhibition


     

Grifon 2014


Some of the laureates wrote about what the project and award meant to them personally and professionally, as well as about the manifestations’ positive impact on the evaluation and affirmation of graphic design. Their quotes can be found in the catalogue of the 12th edition of GRIFON in 2018:

“As an idea, Grifon is necessary for the process of documentation, evaluation and laying out the foundations for our local design scene - this is why it is so important to give it enough space and courage so it can (finally) fly. In the meantime, the golden-winged creature remains in an honorary spot on my bookshelf, reminding me every day of the beginnings - the creative energy of Belgrade in the 90s, the joys of low-tech improvisations. Priceless.” - Vladan Srdić

“Grifon is a guardian, a symbol of recognition and support for that curious, bold, thought out and deeply intimate spirit within us, which makes us contribute to and shape the entire art scene.” - Isidora Nikolić

„(…) Grifon is an exceptionally vital entity on our design scene. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the few people behind the Quadra Graphics printing house and the Graphic collective, it has survived as the only relevant overview of graphic design in our region, despite all of the setbacks - the fact that design is still a pioneering field here instead of being an integral part of the industry, and despite our eternal lack of funding and financial support.” - Slavimir Stojanović

“In a time when everything is becoming digital, the affirmation of graphic design through Grifon is especially important. Technology brings us something new each day, and design has to keep up, bringing shape to things. In order for us to be able to choose a credible and high quality design at this pace, we have to have a manifestation such as Grifon contributing to the affirmation of prestigious graphic design.” - Igor Oršolić


     

     

Grifon 2016


“(…) It would be too easy to say that this creature, feared even by medieval Christians and considered monstrous and demonic, brings only glory and satisfaction. For this reason, I would like to quote a text by Aleksandar Kothaj - “Be a designer, son, just don’t let them catch you!”, in which he states: Every graphic designer in Serbia, Republika Srpska and Montenegro wakes up every morning to a personal battle… much like Don Quixote fights his battle… This battle is the reason why I think every graphic designer in Serbia, as well as RS and Montenegro, deserves to be awarded the Grifon. So that he/she can go to bed a laureate, and wake up as a designer again. Here we go again… (Aleksandar Kothaj, from the 9th Grifon Catalogue, 2012.) In 2012, I was the designer Kothaj was speaking about, along with my friend and colleague, Aleksandar Ilić.” - Jovana Budošan

“The list of laureates tells us everything we need to know about the meaning of this award. Apart from the initial satisfaction it gives us, Grifon represents a duty - a duty to try and uphold this level of quality on the poor art scene of today. (...) Back when we were students, we thought of the award as a given, something which was there all along. With time, we came to understand that Grifon is the only constant in Serbian graphic design, and one of the few intergenerational links, A rare phenomenon, not just within the scene which Grifon represents, but within in our culture as a whole.” - Metaklinka team of authors

Translation: Dunja Karanović


   

Grifon 2018



 

 

 
 
 
 
   
Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
tel: +381.11.3285.923; tel/fax: +381.11.2627.785