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"Troilus & Cressida" Tag

The Honesty of Anton Beeke: Troilus & Cressida

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

As a student at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, I went to the Graphic Design Museum in Breda, together with my class. Their collection included pieces from a decade of graphic design. Next to some posters, you could hear interviews with the designer. Sitting down at the table next to the posters, you could see a built-in television with the images of the interview. This was also the case with the poster that took my attention, namely the poster made by Anton Beeke. He made the poster for a relatively obscure play by Shakespeare named “Troilus and Cressida”. The poster intrigued me, because it showed a recognizable human bodypart yet was still somewhat indefinable. This combination added to the mystery of the poster. Using the information table, I found out a lot of backgroundinformation about this seemingly controversial poster. For more posters link to the Affiche museum

When I was sitting at the table in Breda, I was listening to an interview with Anton Beeke. He introduced himself and I discovered that he was a graphic designer with a lot of experience. He made a wide variety of designs for posters, advertisements, books, magazines, stamps and packaging material. The specific subject of the interview were two posters hanging above the information table. Anton Beeke designed them both for the play “Troilus and Cressida”. The picture was very provocative, because it showed the backside of a naked lady who was bending over, only wearing a horse strap. “Troilus and Cressida” is one of the less famous plays by William Shakespeare. It is a sad story about the love between Troilus and Cressida during the Trojan war. Troilus saw that Cressida was behaving all too affectionately with a Greek called Diomedes. That’s when Troilus reckoned she surely was a prostitute. Anton Beeke tells during his interview that being honest is one of the most important principles for him. He saw the play as tragic and sexist and thought he should show just that on his poster. Unfortunately this point wasn’t clear for some. Especially the so called Dolle Mina’s, a feminist movement during the 1960’s, were protesting against the poster.

Links: Trojan War, Anton Beeke[image], Troilus and Cressida[image], Dolle Mina[image]

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