This is Vains. Overwhelmed with all the choices she has, she just tries to buy as much as she can. She clearly does not want to belong to some kind of brand mania, but thinks it’s okay to show off the brand you are wearing as long as it is a sports brand. Her skin is made from 60% plastic based fibres; this quantity has doubled since the year 2000.
However, she has trouble with transparency. Where is she from? Who made her? It doesn’t really matter. Vains can be seen in almost every part of the world, mostly in Europe, North America, Middle America and Asia.
This is North. Expecting frosty temperatures and comments from his friends, North likes to wear down jackets shielding him against all external threats. Although down is a natural product and kind of environmental-friendly, its production to a large extent is far from animal-friendly. Instead, even big eco brands who claim to have an eye on production, had to admit that they get their material from farms where live pluck is common. His fluffy coolness and often colourful plumage makes him an impressive sight though.
Major populations of Norths are found in the temperate zone mainly in Europe, North America, and Middle America. Because North is so well prepared for weather conditions that are no longer likely to happen in his habitat, scientists are eager to find out how (or if) he will be able to adapt.
This is Blue. He can endure hot and cold temperatures and can take hard work but also start-up life. The good thing is Blue is usually very long lasting. The bad thing is this species uses a lot of water and toxic chemicals when (re-)producing, resulting in billions of gallons of wastewater that contaminates rivers and lakes.
Blue may not be the most elegant species of all but is fascinating due to the many different characteristics and looks he can have. With his great adaptability he was able to spread from Middle America to the whole world. Statistically, every human will wear at least one pair of blue jeans in their lifetime.
This is Neon. Although her natural habitat is water, she is not good for this element and environment in general. Based on crude oil, her splashy outer appearance covers up a dark secret: her high carbon footprint – or should we say ‘tan line’. Every summer, this creature needs a change and takes on new colours and patterns. In the process the just one-year-old swimwear is left behind.
Shockingly, Neons are classified as a non-degradable species, so it takes ages until the abandoned parts vanish. All in all, a Neon’s life cycle starts with a very cheap production and basically never ends.
Fashion (industry) has always reflected a culture’s priorities and aspirations and is an expression of achievements but also weaknesses. “I Cleaned Out My Wardrobe” is the title of an urban intervention conceptualized and organized by artist Toni Meyer and art scientist and sociologist Aileen Treusch. The so called “Clothies” wander through urban space manifesting a moment of abundance and disorientation. They seem like a disruptive factor and yet appear familiar – like old acquaintances – maybe we know them from a look in our closet. This series of work shows an unusual symbiosis of art and fashion within unexpected places. Their expressiveness becomes visible in a new and playful way while the creatures boldly respond to the environment in which we live. Sometimes secretly, sometimes proactively, the artist documents a production and consumption euphoria. Having too much in the wardrobe is a luxury problem of a privileged part of the world. Despite their cosmopolitanism, people appear as deficient beings and seem to be trapped in the tragedy of the commons.
More performances on the street, in museums and art galleries to come. Stay tuned to get to know all “Clothies”.
Art is often perceived as the condensation of reality, it actually delivers small fragments of this imperfect and constantly changing world. It documents, observes, questions, provokes and creates cognition. Art therefore accelerates social evolution. The platform was conceived on the occasion of “Making Crises Visible” – an interdisciplinary exhibition project. With a strong focus on the phenomena to be observed, it is the initiators’ concern to preserve and publish artistic practice within this transitional and liminal time. The focus here is less on the result than on the experimental setup. It is a research concern with an open outcome.
If you, too, would like to be part of the wardrobe page and share an artistic work with us (visual, textual, auditory) please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toni Meyer studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and at Goldsmiths College London. In her work, she primarily uses photography to superimpose accurately captured realities that can only be separated from each other at second glance. In doing so, she confronts viewers with their own fast-paced image consumption behaviour and puts it to the test. Starting point of the staged picture puzzles are mostly people and their built and natural environment. “I like to see how people dress for the outside world. Which colours and items they use to define and design their outer appearance: their hair, their clothes, their way of walking. People are like sculptures that are shaped by life but also shape themselves and “take a form”. In the new work “I cleaned out my wardrobe”, Toni Meyer for the first time joins photography, video and performance.
Aileen Treusch studied art history, social sciences and economics focusing on Italian renaissance, architecture, urban planning and institutional critique. After completing a masterclass at the Herbert Foundation in Ghent that explored the art historical and critical comprehension gained from a sustained focus on a single artwork, she founded Faktory, a manufacturer for site-specific art and culture projects, focusing on research, concept, strategy, and production. Together with private & public institutions, artists and creative people, Faktory is breaking new ground by adopting different perspectives and methodologies. While a supposedly clear distinction between art and socio-cultural environment is becoming increasingly blurred within her projects, the perpetual interaction between them clearly emerges.
MONOPOL – Magazin für Kunst und Leben
read more about the project at MAKING CRISES VISIBLE
Theresa Hoffmann (Vains)
Philip Froissant (North)
Paul Rogowski (Blue)
Natalia Jobe (Neon)
Making Crises Visible, cultural department of the city of Frankfurt
Mathias Bär, Typeface: Calibre, Klim Type Foundry
all works shown on this page: Courtesy of Toni Meyer and FAKTORY, Frankfurt am Main