Dexter Sinister: Identity
- Michael Davis
- 10 October 2012
A highly polished video installation lecture on the rise of corporate identities
Identity is a new three-screened video installation at Tramway by a design duo known as Dexter Sinister. The audio-video installation is a highly polished lecture on the rise of corporate identities, and, specifically, their use by arts organisations. It runs like a beginner’s guide to semiotics, with in-depth case studies on Tate, the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Georges Pompidou. You can’t help but feel exasperated, if not utterly despairing, at some of its stories, like the meticulous consideration over using a lower case letter ‘o’ in the acronymic graphic of MoMA, or the years put spent developing the slight vertical stretch of their chosen font in order to modernise it.
Identity does a good job pulling out the laughable nature in logo design and branding fashion, but the team have also done some extremely insightful research which points out the weird overlap between cultural and corporate worlds. The immaculate white room and pristine projection display feels distinctly eerie, further underlining the clinical nature of the subject matter. In all, a very well delivered institutional critique, which at times makes you genuinely uncomfortable.
Tramway, Glasgow, until Sun 28 Oct.