LuckyPDF and Fred Cigarettes - Artist Brand Collaboration @ grouphab.it
with Andreas Angelidakis (Athens), Guest (Beijing), Hannah Perry (London), Joe Hamilton (Melbourne), Juliette Bonnevoit, Aude Pariset, Simon Denny and Yngve Holen (all Berlin).
grouphab.it hosts the pre-launch event for LuckyPDF’s self initiated collaboration with boutique Swiss tobacco brand Fred. LuckyPDF have invited eight international artists to re-imagine the cigarette packet as a canvas for self promotion, aesthetic adventure and social commentary.
As Fred’s website states “Occasionally we like our message to be provocative: We do not share the prevailing mood of the health moralization and the consequent movement of political correctness.” LuckyPDF, it seems, also likes its message to be provocative. Straddling a hazy line between being complicit in the promotion of a dangerous drug and taking a long hard look at what makes branding addictive, as well as how artists can be implicated in pushing products, they have initiated a unilateral brand collaboration. Seven very limited edition packet design will be produced by Fred for exhibitions in Germany and Switzerland, the two key markets of this ‘alternative’ tobacco company.
Creating an awkward resonance with recent artist-brand collaborations by the likes of Becks and Absolute Vodka these ethically conflicted designs reflect a complex testing of the limit of endorsement and the power-relations at play when artists operate outside of both commercial galleries and public funding. At a time when all branding on cigarette packaging is being reviewed, and has outlawed in Australia, others countries - including Germany - it is still acceptable to advertise such products on the street.
During our event on the 3rd, LuckyPDF will present the soon-to-be-released packet designs while at the same time creating a promotional video for the project - on site in Pankow - during what promises to be a very smoky party. Video production will then be extended to other public spaces in and around Berlin.
After claiming to be idealists, Fred also says “Clearly we are the only real “start up” company in the Tobacco industry.” Arguably closely reflecting “start up” culture, LuckyPDF, in ‘Artist Brand Collaboration Preview’ shares the dangerous habit with grouphab.it.