Boutique – where fashion and art meet
On the 17th August 2012, the Amos Anderson Museum in Helsinki will be occupied by art, fashion, music, and dance in a cross-disciplinary exhibition entitled Boutique. The exhibition, curated by Annamari Vänskä, brings together visual artists and fashion designers to realise a collaborative work as well as a choreographer and musicians – and transforms the exhibition into a Gesamtkunstwerk or a total work of art. Architects Jaakko Pesonen and Klaus Aalto alter the museum space into a fashion house where all artists will have their own shop-in-shops. Vellu “DJ Slow” Maurola and UMO Jazz Orchestra compose the exhibition’s music. Visual artist Rauha Mäkilä and photographer Juliana Harkki create the visual symbols of the exhibition, whereas the creative agency Tsto is responsible for the visual look of the exhibition. Boutique’s exhibition catalogue will remind of a fashion magazine, and it will be designed by the graphic designer Ville Koponen together with Tsto, and published by Sanoma Magazines Finland.
The main focus of the installation by visual artist Tero Puha and fashion designer Teemu Muurimäki is a luxurious perfume entitled Body Beautiful (Remix). The artistic duo contemplates on the idea of branding: how is a brand created, how it is turned into visual imagery creating the visual world around the product, making the fashionable item into a desirable commodity. The installation consists of photographs and a TV-advertisement promoting the perfume. The TV-advertisement is also accompanied by music composed and re-mixed by DJ Vellu Maurola.
Visual artist Katja Tukiainen and fashion designer Samu-Jussi Koski’s work is an installation entitled Army of Girls. The work consists of 12 life-size fashion dolls created according to girl figures in Katja Tukiainen’s paintings. To these girls, Samu-Jussi Koski will design clothes that contrast the pink world of girly girls. The installation touches upon the recent discourse in the fashion world, according to which the young and inexperienced girl is the latest fashion icon. The girls remain silent, but under one girl’s skirt, the visitor finds a surprising soundscape by Vellu Marola.
The fashion designer Paola Suhonen and the visual artist Mikko Ijäs focus on moods, sentiments and imaginary worlds that are so central to both fashion and art. Their work is once again an installation, consisting of “mood videos” directed by Paola Suhonen, and painted over by Mikko Ijäs, who uses iPhone as his technical device. The moods change from Finnish forest to route 66 -aesthetics to sailors at sea. The videos are accompanied by sets that transform the moving image onto a three-dimensional experience. Changing moods are accompanied by Vellu Maurola’s music.
The fashion designer Timo Rissanen and visual artist Salla Salin turn their gaze on the gloomy side of the fashion world. Their work, entitled 15% is a comment on the wastefulness of fashion industry. When clothes are designed and produced, approximately 15 % of the fabric is left over. The core of the installation is a production line, where the visitor can see the whole process of producing a t-shirt from designing to the end product. During the exhibition, a collection of t-shirts will be produced and numbered. The shirts are sold in the exhibition’s shop. However, the customer cannot merely purchase the unique t-shirt: she or he must also buy the leftover fabric and think what to do with it.
Visual artist Jani Leinonen and shoe designer Minna Parikka’s work emphasize art and fashion’s linkage through a surrealistic installation. The artistic duo will build a tri-roomed installation. The rooms will be wallpapered by Jani Leinonen’s drawings that draw from global popular culture. The centrepieces of the rooms are Minna Parikka’s shoes that have been designed especially for Boutique. Vellu Maurola will compose the surreal soundscape for each room. The installation shows that fashion is not only about designing the utilitarian. Rather, it is a place for creativity, unexpected, and unpredictable.
Visual artist Heidi Lunabba and the artistic couple Nutty Tarts (aka Katriina Haikala ja Vilma Metteri) create a sociological and social artwork entitled Cultural Dresscode. The aim of the project is to research how class relates to fashioning, styling and dressing oneself, and how one constructs her or his identity through clothes. The artistic group invites people to participate in the project through e-mail lists, adverts published in Facebook and in newspapers. The research results will be exhibited in fitting rooms, where the results will be displayed in the form of photographs and videos. The work will be complimented by music by Vellu Maurola, which draws from recent research according to which people express themselves and their social position also via musical preferences.
The choreographer Anna Mustonen, fashion designer Jasmin Mishima and photographer Federico Cabrera (aka Gilles et Dada), video artist Timo Wright, sound designer Heidi Lind and dancers Saara Töyrylä and Masi Tiitta combine dance, music, fashion and sound design in a dance piece contemplating the relationship between body, movement and clothing. How do clothes shape our bodies and the ways they can move? How do we use clothes in highlighting, covering, expressing and performing those who we are and aspire to be?
Lahti: ESA Print , 2012.
contemporary art, fashion, Helsinki World Design Capital 2012, Amos Anderson Museum