For & Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet
An exploration into the legacies and potentials of the pamphlet form. Read more
Continuing his exploration of the relationship between money, aesthetics and power, Ferenc Gróf produced a pamphlet edition of Jonathan Swift's well-known essay A Modest Proposal set in 'Currency Alphabet', a typeface he designed by utilizing currency symbols from around the world to function as letters. Swift's satirical essay of 1729 suggested that poor inhabitants of Ireland might consider selling their children for food by way of criticizing and drawing attention to the callous nature of British colonialism in Ireland. The pamphlet edition can be read on the link below.
Gróf further explored the connections between money and state power through GBP Camouflage: an edition of thousands which uses the colours and dimensions of the British five pound note and the pattern of the British Armed Forces' multi-terrain camouflage design. Where the range of military camouflage patterns used by national armies reflects the range of territories they control, the convertibility of national currency is determined by the economic spread of the state. Through this work, Gróf also proposed that banknotes might be understood as 'state' pamphlets, combining precise iconography, textual elements and colour to spread a political message through widespread distribution.