Celebrating a visual landscape of music photography

Design an international traveling retrospective. Over time, photographer Anton Corbijn has worked intensively with numerous musicians and bands. 1-2-3-4 Anton Corbijn shows less known and hardly published work by The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., Metallica, Arcade Fire, Nirvana, and Siouxsie Sioux, among others.

Celebrating a visual landscape of music photography

On the occasion of the sixtieth birthday of photographer Anton Corbijn, the Hague Photo Museum organized a retrospective exhibition. Anton asked us to design the exhibition that focuses on photos from the music world. The design consists of two solutions where the photos of bands hang as groups and musicians as a long continuous line—the whole forms a heartbeat and rock ‘n roll explosion.
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From CO Berlin to Fotografiska Stockholm

The exhibition is a huge success and proves to be popular among international museums. The show at the Hague followed with a show at CO Berlin, Fotografiska Stockholm, PhotoAntwerp, and Brandts Museum in Denmark. In each museum, the design is again tailor-made to the spaces, giving each show its character and experience. The show in Brandts Museum covered 900 m2, where we expanded the design with a video and merchandise space.
I think that the main strength SMEL brings to the projects we have done over many years is implementing a clear and strong structure, once that is in place, everything flows easier.

— Anton Corbijn
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Working with SMEL on the design of Anton Corbijn´s extensive retrospective 1-2-3-4, can quite simply be described as pure joy. The SMEL guys are innovative, deeply passionate about what they do, super professional and moreover incredibly nice people. Our version of the 1-2-3-4 show was the biggest to date - both in terms of the number of works included and in square meters. SMEL came up with a clean cut, minimal and sophisticated design that optimised our exhibition space in a completely new way. Having them help out during the installation process was also a huge pleasure. I would absolutely love to cooperate with SMEL in the future!

—Marianne Ager, curator - Brandts Museum, Odense, Denmark
Anton Corbijn
Haags Fotomuseum
C|O Berlin
Brandts Museum

Photography exhibitions:
David von Becker
Marjolein Spronk
Sebastiaan Franco
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