September 20-22, 2012 / room C4.06
A project and an exhibition by Nicola Chemotti and Elena Meneghini

Inspiration for designers may come from unexpected encounters, such as the chance encounter of Nicola Chemotti and Elena Meneghini with the textile engineer Otto Von Aufschnaiter at his shop of natural yarns, and with Handdruck, the series of screen-printed textiles designed and produced in Bolzano by the collective that Aufschnaiter founded together with fellow designers and artists in 1970.
Fascinated by the designs and objects produced by the collective, the two students from the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bolzano immediately felt the need to unearth a story that was interrupted in 1993 and has since been forgotten.
By interviewing members of the collective and by studying the original drawings, Elena and Nicola have explored the history of Handdruck and have succeeded in reviving a portion of the series, as well as certain previously unreleased prototypes.
Such a research process, together with the observation of people’s reactions to the textiles and objects produced, has spurred the students to question the significance and potential that a project like Handdruck can have today, half a century after its very conception. What values do the Handdruck designs, textiles and characters inspire today? What narratives and practices, what kind of relations, do they elicit?
As the first stage of a broader project, the exhibition presents two stories: the first is that of Handdruck and of the original designs and textiles; the second is that of two young designers accepting the responsibility of that earlier story and attempting to imagine its future.
The Neue Serie Handdruck, exhibited together with the original pieces of the first series, represent the hinge between these two stories

The German word Handdruck means both ‘handshake’ as well as ‘hand printing’. Handdruck is also the name of the series of screen-printed textiles and objects produced in Bolzano by a collective of textile designers and artists between the 1970s and the early 1990s. The collective was founded by textile engineer Otto Von Aufschnaiter and his wife Carmen, an illustrator, together with South Tyrolean artist Anna Wielander Platzgummer, architect Anton Hofer, and textile designer Erna Hitzberger. The production of the Handdruck series terminated in 1993. Since then, the screen-printing frames have been lost and only a few samples and the original drawings remain.

Neue Serie Handdruck
The Neue Serie Handdruck is the first contribution that extends the original Handdruck project. Elaborating on the latter, the Neue Serie Handdruck is the onset of a new act; it represents a desire to restore otherwise forgotten discourses and to open new possibilities for action and meaning-making.
Nicola Chemotti and Elena Meneghini have recovered the original designs of the first Handdruck series and, in collaboration with Anna Wielander Platzgummer, have added three new figures. Their intent is to apply a narrative structure to the creative and production process, and to investigate the memory of the place in which such a process materializes.

This project was developed during the summer semester class with Prof. Kuno Prey, Carmelo Marabello and Simone Simonelli
In collaboration with Otto Von Aufschnaiter
Thanks to Anna Wielander Platzgummer