faces of two girls who attended Marina Abramovic’s The Artist Is Present at the MoMA.
— Hiro Fujiwara (via childrenbegay)
Martin Margiela, installation view of the exhibition ‘9/4/1615’, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 6 June—17 August 1997.
In 1997 Martin Margiela worked in collaboration with a microbiologist on an exhibition of his work at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Margiela recreated in white one outfit from each of the eighteen collections he had designed to date. The clothes were than saturated with agar, a growing medium, and sprayed with green mould, pink yeast or fuchsia or yellow bacteria, and housed in specially constructed greenhouses in the museum’s grounds for four days while the moulds and bacteria grew on the clothes. They were then displayed on Stockman dummies in a row along the outside wall of a glass and steel modernist pavilion in the museum, ranged along the external glass wall like melancholy ghosts, their textiles fluttering in the breeze, giving new life to garments that were, paradoxically, revivified by the deatly process of mould and decay. Benign sentinels in their tattered, secondhand clothes, the eighteen mannequins along the glass wall evoked a ghostly presence that brought the past into the present. Although Margiela’s deconstructions often made his clothes look completely modern, in this installation there were curious and unexpected historical resonances. Many of the styles were surprisingly Napoleonic, adding to the ghostly impression of a troop of people from a previous age: a pea jacket, thigh boots, Empire-line dresses. A more Victorian connotation was evoked by the 1950s ball gown split down the front: tattered, mouldy, blowing gently in the breeze, it suggested what could have been Miss Haversham’s wedding dress given a new and unexpected life.
When first exhibited in June the garments were still wet and fluffy with new mould; by August the wind and sun had bleached and weathered them, leaving a mottled tracery of decay on their surface, as if they had just been disinterred from a rusty trunk and hung up to air. Spots of mildew, mould and bacteria traced patterns on the two 1940s tea gowns stitched together, a false platina of age grown in a few days on fifty-year-old dresses. In these garments Margiela changed the rules of time, grew something ‘old’ overnight (the moulds), made something new and modern (the deconstructed dress) out of old things and then layered one on top of the other.
It’s called a heart, Ueda Katsuhiko and Monica Reigner photographed by Takay for i-D magazine no. 247 September 2004