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Rozbeh Asmani, Colourmarks

2017 CMG European Conference Speaker

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Colour, Power and Memory

 

Rozbeh Asmani artistically explores the aesthetics of capitalism. His work series Colourmarks is the product of an on-going research into the field of colour trademarks registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office. He visualizes their impact on our collective memory when used exclusively by corporations as part of their corporate identities.

By way of silk screening and c-printing he produces abstract colour plates. Confronted with the question what these colours stand for, the beholder’s attention is raised to the complex link between colour, power, and memory.

His new series of silk screens deals with colours protected by trademark law in their respective fields of usage: the colour design of petrol stations or pumps of a large petroleum corporation as well as the vehicle and overall of a haulage firm or the blue round with writing of a crème box. One view is often enough in order to be reminded not only of the exact trademark, but also of the time and circumstances of our encounter with these products and services.

Colourmarks is an interdisciplinary project situated between art and science that is concerned with the complex interplay between colour, power and identity. By way of traditional silk screen printing, digital c-prints and offset-printing a colour atlas is put together documenting for the first time 72 colour trademarks registered and listed at the German Patent and Trademark Office.

This visual archive reveals the colour space claimed by large corporations and offers an insight into the aesthetic codes of a capitalist system based on steady growth. The very function and significance of these colour trademarks shaping our everyday life and perception is brought to attention. The project aims at rendering a phenomenon of trademark law visually perceptible.

A first series of Colourmarks was granted the advancement award of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2013. In 2014, a 15-part-series was purchased by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf and is presented there as a room installation. Since January 2015 Rozbeh Asmani is a member of the Young College of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

Transferring colours licensed according to trademark law and registered in different colour systems into various printing procedures constitutes a great challenge and demands a lot of effort. It requires the exact knowledge of traditional imaging procedures, but at the same time also encourages experimenting with and developing new imaging methods. Recently a book called „Rozbeh Asmani - 72 Colourmarks“ will produced in may. There 100 special colours are presented on 160 pages. The book was funded by Kunststiftung NRW, Ministry of Economic, Ministry of science, HKS and RAL.

 
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Credits

Credits

"Portrait_Rozbeh Asmani“ 2016, Köln Foto: David Ertl

"Colourmarks_Ministry“, 15 Colourmarks (exhibition view), 2014, Ministry of Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, Foto: Rozbeh Asmani

"Colourmarks_horbach1“, Rozbeh Asmani - Colourmarks (exhibition view), 2014, Michael Horbach Stiftung, Köln, Photo: Ilya Pusenkoff

"Colourmarks_horbach2“, Rozbeh Asmani - Colourmarks (exhibition view), 2014, Michael Horbach Stiftung, Köln, Photo: Ilya Pusenkoff

"Colourmarks_GKG-1“, Rozbeh Asmani - Besetzte Farben (exhibition view), 2016, gesellschaft für kunst und gestaltung, Bonn, Photo: David Ertl

"Colourmarks_GKG-2“, Rozbeh Asmani - Besetzte Farben (exhibition view), 2016, gesellschaft für kunst und gestaltung, Bonn, Photo: David Ertl

"Colourmarks_GKG-3“, Rozbeh Asmani - Besetzte Farben (exhibition view), 2016, gesellschaft für kunst und gestaltung, Bonn, Photo: David Ertl

"Colourmarks_AcademyNRW1“, Rozbeh Asmani - Farbe und Identität (exhibition view), 2015, North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Photo: Andreas Endermann

"Colourmarks_AcademyNRW2“, Rozbeh Asmani - Farbe und Identität (exhibition view), 2015, North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Photo: Andreas Endermann