At an event in Moscow in December a seventh box will be presented, this time by the Swedish photographer and filmmaker Jens Assur.
For almost two years Iggesund Paperboard has been running the Black Box Project, with exhibitions in cities like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Milan and New York. Iggesund has challenged a number of well-known international designers and design companies to fill a black box of a specified format with contents which in some way test the limits of Iggesund’s Invercote paperboard. Six designers have taken part in the project so far. When the doors open on 6 December to an exhibition at the Flacon Club in Moscow, a new box will be unveiled with contents created by the Swedish photographer and film director Jens Assur.
Assur began his career as a photographer for the daily press. In the 1990s he became Sweden’s most award-winning photojournalist. He gradually left the press world and began focusing on filmmaking. His films such as The Last Dog in Rwanda and Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys have won multiple international awards. Partly as a result of this recognition, at the beginning of 2012 he was the first Scandinavian to win the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, the Sundance Festival’s prize for promising filmmakers.
“When I was asked to take part in the Black Box Project I didn’t hesitate a second,” he says enthusiastically. “As a creative artist, it’s rare that I have the opportunity to work so freely and at such a high artistic level in projects developed by customers. But in this case we could do so on both a conceptual and intellectual level.”
Carlo Einarsson, Director Market Communications at Iggesund Paperboard, is very pleased with Assur’s participation in the project.
“We’re looking for creative individuals who really push the limits of what can be done with Invercote,” he explains. ”But the project is also a tribute to all the designers who have chosen over the years to make fantastic creations using Invercote as their starting point. We’re especially pleased by the great interest our exhibitions have received from designers and the graphic industry in many parts of the world.”
Einarsson says that the Black Box Project is not a traditional advertising campaign in which the client expresses detailed wishes and closely supervises the project’s execution. The participating designers have great freedom – the only stipulations are that they must work with Invercote and create something that reflects their own distinctiveness and Invercote’s possibilities.
“The degree of freedom combined with the opportunity to create something extraordinary has made it easy to find interested participants,” he says. “A number of designers have contacted us and asked to be part of the project. We’re very satisfied with the response so far, both to our exhibitions and to our web pages about the project.
“In a world where the choice of materials is unfortunately often a matter of habit, it’s important for us to showcase the extra possibilities which Invercote offers designers to fully realise their creative ambitions.” Last November the Black Box Project presented a fifth designer’s work in Hamburg. The newcomer was designer and illustrator Sebastian Onufszak, based in Augsburg, Germany, but with all of Europe as his workplace. His contribution to the exhibition was unveiled at an event at the Prototyp Museum in Hamburg. This spring saw the addition of a work by the Japanese-American paper sculptor Jeff Nishinaka of Los Angeles in conjunction with a Black Box exhibition in Milan.
The other exhibitors are the Dutch firm of van Heertum Design, who are technical magicians who delight in combining printing techniques, use more than 30 inks and varnishes, and then add extra finishing touches, to the joy of printing aficionados and the despair of production economists. Landor, Paris elegantly demonstrates how designers break through all boundaries established by their clients. Brunazzi & Associati from Turin have created a survival kit for pasta lovers with both pasta tongs and a colander, all made of paperboard. And New York-based Frenchman Marc Benhamou presents his concept of beauty in a new interpretation of the Tarot’s 22 Major Arcana cards.
Sebastian Onufszak’s creation will now join this series of challenges. His contribution is a film about life as a closed loop system. The film is played on a video player integrated into the paperboard box.
“This project is an adventure and we don’t really know where it will all end,” Carlo Einarsson concludes. “But Invercote is one of the strongest brands on the European paperboard market, and with that as a secure foundation we can dare to try new channels of communication.”
The next Black Box, by photographer and filmmaker Jens Assur, will be presented at the beginning of December in Moscow.