From the off, London’s House of Vans has played host to a diverse range of exhibitions and activities; opening with a Louise Gray installation (here), it has since offered gallery space to Modest Mouse tour photos, the first UK live show from Julian Casablancas + The Voids and naturally, plenty of skate sessions.
For its latest display, the Waterloo venue presents Heated Words. The ‘search for hip hop’s forgotten typeface’, the project is the work of artist Rory McCartney and Charlie Morgan, a prominent digital player boasting stints at U-Dox, Crooked Tongues, Vans and Vice (and founder of graffiti blog, Hurt You Bad).
“There is a typeface, an omnipresent font that appears heavily in documentation from the early days of the NY hip-hop movement through to the present day,” so explains the pair’s website. “Normally found adorning the customised T-shirts of B-Boys, these heat pressed letters are an anathema. After years of searching we cannot identify the typeface.”
Titled ‘Initial Research’ – the former term being key – the new exhibition proposes an immersive mixed media primer: an introduction to an on-going study of the how’s, who’s and why’s of the apparently forgotten typeface, a ‘folk-lore’ font that Tumblr won’t simply throw up.
Officially open from Friday until 9th April, the static exhibition is accompanied by a series of films, with titles such as ‘Paris is Burning’ and ‘Style Wars’ being screened throughout next week.