February 1 – April 8, 2007
Through the countless images collected in its archives, publications and exhibitions, Characters at War examines the vast array of possibilities characters offer as signs of an independent graphic language. The exhibition enables visitors to meet the elite of international character design, literally eye-to-eye. From Super Mario on one end to Emily the Strange on the other–hundreds of all time favorites and shiny newcomers from the flat-faced world of comics, graffiti and merchandising are pushing through to the third dimension. In addition to the 3-D characters, the exhibition includes the Characters in Motion DVD projection, a compilation of over 90 films by 60 international studios, artists and designers. The contemporary character has gained full independence in this exhibition, free at last from the restraints of narrative or cultural context and reliant only upon its visual strengths and powers of communication. The cutest, and strangest characters stand life-size in a gigantic walkthrough battlefield installation. A classical war scenario comes to life in a competition of consumer icons.
The exhibition includes over 100 works by artists from Denmark, France, Japan, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Israel, Italy, and many others including the United States. American artists James Marshall, better known to his following as Dalek, and Shag, also known as Josh Agle, are included in the exhibition.