Visual Leader 2008
The Lead Awards are one of Germany’s most prestigious awards for print and online media. In their 17th year, they have a high recoginition in the media and marketing scene in Germany. We visited the related exhibition in Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen on the past week-end.
The exhibtion is kept in a strictly pure style. Plain walls, painted in white or a very light grey, the exhibits printed in A4 and A3 (for double-spreads) size, and thus in the format most of them are published in. The print-outs are simply hung from paper clips on slim nails in the walls. On the downside, this manner of presentation is obviously limited – some images may look better in a rather larger format, some ads may be more easily readable – on the upside, the presentation offers a sense of realism, also displaying the limitations of the print and online media.
I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and ended up surprised at how long I spent inside (just under two hours). Something that I was not quite so pleased with was that I felt a lack of information regarding the ranking process. Regarding some of the awarded pieces, I was not so sure why they were chosen (e.g. the Louis Vuitton ad showing Michail Gorbatschow, which received Gold in the category „ Ad of the Year“, and which I found neither impressive in its styling nor in the message it presents). But generally speaking, the exhibition was definitely worth the visit. I won’t go into too much details regarding the awards for text etc., as rather a lot of them are in German – I’ll just mention a few personal visual highlights:
BIC – The Joy of Writing: a visually highly attractive, clever and humorous take on the advertising for one of the most basic writing objects of all time
Eugenio Recuenco – Dreams: A seriously disturbing, yet highly and elegantly stylish series of images containing a good portion of wit.
Timo Nasseri – Jetskins: A series of pictures of the exterior of fighting jets, showing a surprising aesthetic in the composition of text and icons, yet reminding me of stencil graffitis at the same time.
Annie Leibovitz – Killers Kill, Dead Men Die: Leibovitz’s hommage to Film Noir is just one of the greatest fashion spreads I have seen in a long time. Deeply atmospheric and with an all-star cast.
http://www.leadacademy.de/2008/index.html (in German)