For decades, the Parisian design duo M/M (Paris) (Michaël Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak) have been behind pioneering projects at the crossroads of graphic design and art, where they have created campaigns, works, and performances in close collaboration with musicians, visual artists, theatres, art museums and fashion houses around the world.
This autumn the duo showcases their large exhibition in GL STRAND M/Meditation IN COPENHAGEN. Here they present their work through 30 years with a special emphasis on collaborations with artists and art institutions. The exhibition also features several completely new works created specifically for the exhibition based on the Copenhagen cityscape and history. The result is a different bid for a retrospective exhibition, where M / M (Paris) has transformed two of the art gallery’s floors into a hybrid between an art exhibition, an archive presentation, a study hall, and a home. Here, the audience, through the many types of media, objects, and forms of presentation, can explore the design duo’s many projects and collaborations, which include Björk, Alexander McQueen, and the artists Phillippe Parreno and Pierre Huyghe.
Images are the driving force behind M/M’s work, but they are always presented in combination with text, drawing, and collages.
With their distinctive aesthetic style, the duo has set the tone in creating the visual style of the cultural expressions that we surround ourselves with today, whether it is art, music, theatre, or fashion.
Whether creating campaigns for major international fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Loewe, and Calvin Klein or long-standing collaborations with theatres, museums and visual artists all collaborations are viewed in the same way – as a collaboration between two equal partners who meet in a common understanding of the project’s nature and possibilities. This approach of collaborating has been a common thread in their work since the beginning and is also a natural consequence of views on and work with the visual arts.
Mathias Augustyniak (b. 1967) and Michael Amzalag (b. 1968) are both educated from École Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. The agency M / M (Paris) was founded in 1992. The duo started by designing record covers, but already in the following year in 1993, they created their first campaign for the worldwide launch of Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-series. Since then, they have designed campaigns for fashion houses e.g. Jil Sander, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Calvin Klein. Many of their projects in the 1990s were created in collaboration with fashion and art photographers Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. In 2001 they became art directors and creative consultants for Vogue, and from 2006 they worked as creative consultants for Purple Fashion, then the following years for Arena Homme and later Interview Magazine.
Between 1997 and 2001, M/M worked as visiting professors at the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne in Switzerland. In 2000, they collaborated with artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno on the project No Ghost Just A Shell, and then another collaboration with Huyghe in 2002 on the design of Café Etienne Marcel in Paris. In 2004, they designed the scenography for Éric Vigner’s staging of the baroque opera Antigona by Tommaso Traetta, from which they directed the short film Antigone Under Hypnosis. In 2008, they had their first exhibition at the Center Pompidou under the title Vision Tenace. In 2017, they created the exhibition design for Francesco Vezzoli’s exhibition at the Fondazione Prada in Milan.