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Wanted: rejection letters

Advertising, Graphic Design

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 5 November 2009, 11:41    Permalink    Comments (8)

A rare breed of rejection letter. From the editor at arts journal ZYZZYVA

Amnesty of Rejection is a proposed exhibition at the Royal College of Art in London in which letters of rejection, failure and polite decline will be displayed and then recycled to create "a document of positive affirmation". If you've kept any, the RCA are after submissions...

According to the RCA's Students' Union blog, chosen letters will be on display in the Union for a two to three week period which will culminate in a "Bacchanal" on 11 December.

All the letters will be destroyed (shredded) and then recycled; turned into a "positive document" that, along with photographs of the process, will apparently be framed and then hung somewhere in the RCA.

More information on the conceptual thinking behind the Amnesty of Rejection proposal (and the link with the cultural output of the 1990s) can be found on the link from the RCASU page.*

If you want to submit your rejection letters for inclusion – you can either hand them in at the Students' Union office, or email Morgan Quaintance for more details on

* The connection to 1990s popular culture is explained in the post: "Central to the end of display period will be the Bacchanal, in which rejected models of the 1990's (a period of time we all felt a distinct attachment to) will be reclaimed, and the letters of rejection destroyed.

"The link between rejected aspects of 90's culture and the rejection of ones self, is made possible through the connection of a prescribed value system, or personal critique, the recipient is alienated from. This, top down, system of judgement is painfully evident in the bureaucratic language of polite letters of decline, and the personal language of letters of rejection, it is something we also found in media representations of 1990's popular, and sub, culture."


Hasn't this been done before? Sort of feel I have been to lots of exhibitions like this.

There are some great rejection letters here, by the way:
2009-11-05 13:24:25

I've got loads
2009-11-05 13:27:09

* sends book to Zyzzyva directly*
david janes
2009-11-05 13:55:06

ok deluxe
2009-11-05 20:21:24

why mash em up afterwards, more interesting see the indivdual letters rather than someones 'arty ' thought make a project ending. all a bit forced and silly.
2009-11-06 10:03:54

The letters are going to be exhibited at the RCA before they're recycled
CR Mark Sinclair
2009-11-06 11:50:16

Displayed a collection of our own rejection letters entitled Unfortunately I'm Afraid back in 2005. Am currently trying to piece together a publication of other designers rejection letters so if you have any and would like to be included please do get in contact. Our rejection letters can be viewed at
John Dowling
2009-11-06 23:02:09

very similar project has been done by a student at the Cooper Union and Ellen Lupton.
it is called the sexy librarian.
2009-11-30 20:41:45

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