The staging of clothes in contemporary photography. Works from the collection
Clothes convey different messages, far beyond their functional properties which protect the body against the elements and nakedness. Using contemporary artistic positions from our own collection, complemented by selected loans, the exhibition shows, how clothes - through fashion, traditions and conventions - are staged and understood in a formulaic way as a social, cultural and genderspecific system of symbols and signs and an individually sensed expression of personality. The title of the exhibition is a reference to the series of photographs Wearing Skirts by Andrea Lumplecker. Apart from clothes-specific questions about male and female identity, artists scrutinize and critically question the staging of clothes by the fashion industry whose aim is to advertise their products on the bodies of models as objects of desire and projection surfaces for the consumer‘s own attractiveness. As depicted by Peter Köllerer in his work series Architectures of Desire the coveted textiles are presented in the carefully decorated shop windows of boutiques and temples of consumerism as tempting consumer goods, according to the motto: Clothes make the man. This is contrasted with works by other artists who use discarded or found garments which show the individual traces or their owners and wearers despite industrial mass production. Sculptures by Erwin Wurm illustrate that clothes are only perceived as voluminous with the body of their wearer. Other aspects of clothes explored in the exhibition include culture-specific and historical garments, as all as the role of uniforms.