Beyond Fashion Exhibition
There are so many images published in the life of a magazine that most of them get forgotten. Very few images are powerful. It’s not novelty that makes for creativity. It’s creativity, or ‘genius’, that creates novelty.
– Franca Sozzani, late Editor of Vogue Italia
Fashion magazines are not made to last. Every month there is a new issue with new images, new dreams to sell. One has to remember that fashion magazines produce hundreds of thousands of images to sell fashion. While flipping through these magazines, one surprising image can suddenly catch the eye. This image goes beyond the magazine whose purpose is to sell a garment and to inform potential customers. Here it is about a photographer’s vision, new aesthetics at play, a narrative that reaches far beyond fashion.
At one time, the only place to see a fashion photograph was in the pages of a magazine or possibly stuck to the wall of a teenage girl’s bedroom; but things have changed, with museums holding major exhibitions, galleries and auction houses selling fashion images, and publishers constantly releasing new titles devoted to fashion photography. Removed from its original context (the magazine page), fashion photography is art’s rising star. The art world is much more accepting of fashion photography because museums have moved from high art to an all-embracing visual culture.
For a long time, fashion photography was seen as exclusively commercial. However, contemporary photographers don’t necessarily conceive of their work as fitting into one single category or medium. In the 21st century, boundaries between editorial work, advertising work and personal work are now blurring. Digital media have changed the way photography is reported, consumed and shared. With the explosion of street-style blogs, Instagram and Pinterest, fashion photography has become the new visual language. No longer regarded as frivolous, it has been elevated to the status of an art form.
The show includes the work of the most acclaimed fashion photographers today, such as Nick Knight, Sølve Sundsbø, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindbergh, Miles Aldridge, Ellen von Unwerth. It will also involve photographs and films of the new generation, Blommers & Schumm, Daniel Sannwald, Viviane Sassen or Erik Madigan Heck, all highly talented artists who are taking the lead in the years to come. The photographers brought together in this exhibition have looked anew at the potential of fashion photography and created an imagery that goes far beyond fashion.
The show includes 100 photographs divided into four different sections.
In addition to the photographs, a section of the exhibition is dedicated to moving images as fashion films have become an important element of today’s fashion photography. The fashion film programme is dedicated to SHOWstudio, a website founded and directed by Nick Knight who was one of the first and most high profile imagemakers to adopt digital film as a medium for showing fashion. For the last 2 decades, SHOWstudio, as an experimental platform, has constantly pushed the boundaries of communicating fashion. Conceived as a black box that could be installed in the center of the exhibition, the film program brings a dynamic section to the exhibition.
Dates and Details of Tour:
The exhibition will open at ArtisTree in Hong Kong in January of 2019 and will be available for travel subsequently.
The exhibition is produced by the American non-profit organization, the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography (FEP), Minneapolis/New York
In addition to the FEP curators, the Foundation engages distinguished outside curators and historians for its projects. Among past and current contributors are: Tobia Bezzola (Director, Folkwang Museum, Carol Squiers (Curator, International Center of Photography), Joan Simon (formerly Curator-at-large, Whitney Museum), A. D. Coleman (historian, critic and independent curator), Nissan Perez (formerly Curator of Photography at the Israel Art Museum), David Campany and Patterson Sims (former Deputy Director, MoMA).
Blommers & Schumm
Jonathan de Villiers
Meier Jean-Baptiste Mondino
Scheltens & Abbenes
Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh
Matadin Willy Vanderperre
Ellen Von Unwerth
Nathalie Herschdorfer is Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle (www.mbal.ch), Switzerland and has been working as a curator with FEP for several years. Previously, she was a curator at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne Switzerland, where she worked for 12 years on major ex- hibitions. Active in contemporary photography, she curated many international shows held in Europe, China, South Ko- rea, and in the US and lectures about history of photography and contemporary photography. Herschdorfer is the author of many books, including Afterwards: Contemporary Pho- tography Confronting the Past (2011), reGeneration: Tomor- row’s Photographers Today, dedicated to emerging photog- raphy on the international scene (2005 and 2010), and a Dictionary of Photography (2015). Her latest book is entitled Body and includes the work of more of 175 contemporary photographers (2019). Herschdorfer’s most recent project with FEP was the exhibition Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast (2012), a show dedicated to history of fashion photography, that travelled in 15 different museums with great success.
Director of the Project:
Todd Brandow worked as an art consultant in New York for many years. Since 1997, he has been living in Paris, working as a photography curator, foundation director and book publisher. He co-produced and co-curated the highly successful Edward S. Curtis vin- tage exhibitions that were exhibited in European museums between 2000 and 2006. Brandow co-curated a retrospective tour of Finnish photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen with critic A. D. Coleman, and two Edward Steichen exhibitions with William Ewing and Nathalie Herschdorfer. Recent projects include co-productions with the Harry Ransom Center on Arnold Newman, the Jeu de Paume on Lorna Simpson, the High Museum of Art on Vik Muniz, MIT on Polaroid: Art and Technology, a major survey show on the history of fashion photography at Condé Nast, Coming into Fashion, as well as a major survey of 21st century exhibition, CIVILIZATION: The Way We Live Now, co-produced with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea.