Transfashional/Ana Rajcevic, Animal, 2017
Experimental fashion in the context of contemporary art
Can art and fashion respond to current social, economic, cultural and en-vironmental urgencies and shape new paradigmatic positions? Transfashional explores the ways in which artists and designers are engaging and contributing to these questions.
Transfashional began as a series of collaborative sessions with fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, curators José Teunissen (Arnheim Fashion Biennial), Susanne Neuburger (MUMOK − Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien), Barbara Putz-Plecko and Beatrice Jaschke (Die Angewandte) as well as emerging artists and designers whose practice is situated in between fashion and art. This project encouraged collaborative and experimental work which resulted in new productions and transcended boundaries between disciplines.
As this emerging generation of artists and designers reflect on the world around them, they highlight the need for a profound revision of the pro-cesses of production and social relations which derive from them. They turn away from the fashion industry and it’s super-accelerated rhythms of production. Their quest for alternatives drives and inspires new productions − not of goods but of ideas. Indeed, more than wearable and functional, many of these works are critical, engaged and conceptual, and can be seen as symbols and symptoms of the present zeitgeist.
UK based artist Lara Torres asks the viewer to stop and reflect about how we make fashion in the future in her video-essay Unmaking. The visual narrative is composed of a series of performative gestures, such as un-weaving, un-sewing and tearing apart in order to become aware of the symbolic meaning of the thread, of the fragment, and of all what remains behind as a material trace of human existence. In a similar way Anna Sophie Berger’s work She Vanished 1 evokes absence, loss, and generally the state of moving away while Ana Rajčević’s work questions possible new beginnings: her wearable sculptures in the form of long horns invoke both ancestral and futuristic dimensions. Kate Langrish-Smith pushes the notion of wearability and functionality even further. Her body-related-sculptures function as enigmatic performative devices which create specific choreography of the movement and body-posture, inviting and teasing spectators to interact with them. By means of an artistic analysis Manora Auersperg reflects on the exhibition itself. She traced the spatial evolution of the exhibition in different sites, intervening on the textile surface by pulling out threads. Whereas the given structure of the fabric dissolves, notes materialize in a different medium. Now the work will enter in the third stage, in which a camera, specially built by artist Konrad Strutz, will be used to scan/read the surface of textile and transform it in yet another form of “text/texture”.
Several artists focus on the potential of materials.
For her collection Excuse My Dust Christina Dörfler-Raab, in collabora-tion with Jasmin Schaitl, experiments with different dying processes u-sing destructive and corrosive substances, facilitated through the creation and transformation of objects and implementation of various performative formats and actions.
Afra Kirchdorfer creates modular systems composed of ribbons and ge-ometrically cut pieces of cloth which can be endlessly combined and re-combined around the body. Assembling the work becomes a playful action of re-designing as well as rethinking the very notion of ready-to-wear. Graphic designer Maximilian Mauracher created a project entitled NOUS002, a follow-up to his interactive installation at Transfashional Lab London. His artificial intelligence, an automated combination of various digital tools made for image recognition, manipulation and creation, produces an almost endless flux of computer-generated imagery. The installation shows a small selection of its experiments with patterns and silhouettes and visualizes its future potential.
Janusz Noniewicz, Dominika Wirkowska, Wojciech Małolepszy and Robert Pludra, together with a group of students from fashion and product design departments of Warsaw Art Academy, will present complex video animation and set of interactive installations inspired by celebrated Austrian author Robert Musil's novel Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß. Their work revolves round the position of being active or passive, both as a citizen and as a creative person in relation to one’s social, political and cultural surrounding.
Also collaborating on a new work are Anna Schwarz and Lisa Edi who explore the dialectical relation between the “eye” of the camera and ob-ject of its focus.
Transfashional (8.12. − 20.12.2017) is organised by the University of Applied Arts Vienna in collaboration with Austrian Cultural Forum Warsaw, Austrian Cultural Forum London, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and London College of Fashion and with the additional support of the Federal Ministry for Arts and Culture, Constitution and Media, Austria.
Artists & designers:
Manora Auersperg & Konrad Strutz, Anna-Sophie Berger, Christina Dörfler-Raab & Jasmin Schaitl, Lisa Edi, Afra Kirchdorfer, Kate Langrish-Smith, Maximilian Mauracher, Ana Rajčević, Anna Schwarz, Lara Torres, Janusz Noniewicz, Dominika Wirkowska, Wojciech Małolepszy, Robert Pludra, Fashion and Product Design departments of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Margarita Slepakova, Clemens Fiechter
Curated by: Dobrila Denegri