Le Signe, centre national du graphisme is organising the 3rd edition of the Biennale internationale de design graphique from 27 May to 26 September 2021 in Chaumont. Following in the footsteps of the emblematic poster festival of Chaumont, the Bienniale will celebrate graphic design over a period of four months, an opportunity for all its participants to meet up, discuss practices and topical issues thanks to a variety of events all over the city. The theme of this third edition “VIRAL” is also the subject of an exhibition of the same name. It is an invitation for the spectator to reflect upon this term, which refers to the spreading as well as the diffusion of information, images and also those diverging interpretations we make of them.
In these times of health crisis, the number of diagrams with their abscissa and ordinate axes we have seen has exploded, as well as the audience’s liking for logarithmic curbs and exponential functions or the appearance of a new corps of expert statisticians and polemicists. These images have become viral themselves and their interpretation has been more than ever determined by the respective context and broadcasting channel but also by the graphic choices that were made. The multiplication of this data, these figures and representations has generated a double yet contradictory movement: never before has data been so easy to access for all yet never before has it led to so much debate and confusion regarding its interpretation. With this far-reaching theme, le Signe questions the role of the public in the virality present in society today. The audience can discover a program of events that highlight emerging as well as established artists from the graphic design scene with solo exhibitions by Fanette Mellier, the Iranian studio Kargah, Michel Le Petit Didier and Michiel Schuurman. Exhibitions on specific themes like the Demo Festival, the Exemplaires Biennale, le Club français du livre (the French book club) and the student competition round off the program. On May 27, the Biennale is inaugurating the 29th International Poster Competition, a key event for graphic designers all over the world. A selection of approximately one hundred posters among the entries is presented in the exhibition portraying the top of contemporary poster production. Workshops, talks and round tables are organized all around town, contributing to the transmission and questioning and discussion and sharing ideas around graphic design. The Biennale addresses at the same time an audience of professionals, graphic design students, and those who are interested in the subject by opening the access to the discipline. The graphic identity of the 2021 Biennale has been entrusted to the New York studio DIA, specialized in the typography of movement, animation and augmented reality.