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Look.Listen. The posters of Ine Ilg
Introductory speech by Prof. Kurt Weidemann (excerpt)

Posters are the highwaymen of our time. Silent highwaymen in a predetermined place. Only: they don't want to rob you in the way of the highwaymen. They want to offer you something. They lie in wait to lure you to a performance, to an event or to sell you something.

Sometimes something visual (the poster) has to point to something acoustic (the music). The arts are always trying to correspond and perform with each other: Painting with the stage set and costumes for the drama, opera additionally with singing and music, film with stereophonic sound. You see with your eyes and at the same time there is something for your ears. Our ears have a memory for melodies, just as our eyes have a memory for appearances. If scent components were added, more than half of our senses would already be engaged.

In the past, when a village wanted to advertise a musical evening or a visit to the circus, a drummer and a trumpeter would walk through the village or a clown would do cartwheels and somersaults. The poster depends on someone coming by and showing interest in its message. Digital electronic competition is currently overtaking them by leaps and bounds. An internet platform "My Space", founded three years ago, already has over 150 million users and gains 23 thousand more every day. A magazine launched at the same time is just coming out of the red. On the internet, people can be on the move 24 hours a day, the poster - like its viewer - sleeps over in the dark. Nevertheless: the poster belongs directly more to us. It is closer to our sense and being. It is a collector's item, can be used as a wall decoration, it is more sustainable in its appeal.

I now come to Ine Ilg. Her theme is the soundless word-image poster for music, for jazz. She has to convey to us via the sense of sight, via the eye, that we should listen to jazz and do so live, by going there. In graphic design, no product enters the public sphere, on streets and squares, as decisively as the poster with attention-grabbing and inviting messages for: Pfanni dumplings and Absolut vodka, for symphony concerts and Goethe's Faust II. The poster's siblings are the full-page advertisement, the book jacket and, smallest of all, the postage stamp. They all seek attention, attention, and an activity that triggers action, for example, gluing by making transportable in the case of the postage stamp.


German poster art has big names internationally and is represented in corresponding museums in New York, Tokyo and Europe. Ine Ilg is there with a very personal style through awards. With the means of typography, i.e. design with letters, she is able to maintain legibility on the one hand and on the other hand do justice to jazz with its free-flowing improvisations in a well-dosed, delicate coordination with each other. In addition, expectations attached to big names like Miles Davis, Fats Domino and the Count Basie Orchestra must be fulfilled in such a way that the desire to attend a concert leads to a decisive decision to visit. The fact that she succeeds in this has also been confirmed by expert juries, for example several times in the annual competition of the "Hundred Best Posters".

In order to be - in her words - rhythmic, mysterious, electrifying, expressive, moving and interactive, one cannot, of course, stick to the academic rules for sentence design, font mixing, photo application, surface composition. Rather, having learned to master them, one must abuse them in an intelligent , creative way. Mind you, after mastering them, not before. You have to "re-intend" them in a remarkable way. If these posters are successful, then one can also hear them with the inner ear when looking at them, find an on-sound.

Poster artists must - even more than in other design fields - be able to do what Bert Brecht demanded of a good playwright: they must be able to think with other people's heads. In other words, the poster artist must be able to think with the heads and music of the announced jazz greats and the heads of the target group of jazz fans. That's what they, the poster artists, and that's what Ine Ilg activated and cultivated their creative power for. Those who only know their own point of view about this easily come to misjudgements and wrong opinions. He is like the person standing on the bank of a river who calls out to someone standing on the other side, "How do you get to the other side?" Answer: "You're already there!"

I must now leave you to your eyes. From Hans Platschek, who lived and painted here for a long time, comes the sentence "A picture is only as valuable as the viewer who stands in front of it." You have the opportunity here to experience an increase in value. For which I congratulate you.

Hans-Ulrich Denninger
Ine Ilg

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