“The Magic of Things” explores a by-and-large obsolete advertising strategy in the area of the product poster: banal, everyday objects – butter, a sewing machine or shoes – are presented as desirable objects that entice us to buy them. Free from any further context, in the poster they acquire a sensual presence and magic aura. The product poster had its heyday in Switzerland in the 1940s with designers such as Niklaus Stoecklin, Peter Birkhäuser or Otto Baumberger. But soon the isolated focus on the product was no longer enough – the feelings associated with the objects grew increasingly important in advertising. Today the magical depiction of things is experiencing a kind of renaissance: the culture poster presents familiar objects detached from their context and reveals their special aesthetic. In addition to the posters the exhibition presents photographs and advertising films from the epoch of the product poster. They reveal different approaches to advertising products, some of them parallel and some very different.
Publication: The Magic of Things, “Poster Collection” 24, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (ed.), D/E, Lars Müller Publishers