August fashion exhibitions

Normally, August is a quite month for exhibition openings, however this month sees the start of three of the most exiting displays so far this year. New York design duo Eckhaus Latta have created three installations for Whitney Museum of American Art that explore desire, social relations, and consumption. Photographer Viviane Sassen whose work belongs to the surrealist tradition has her work on display at Hepworth Wakefield in UK. DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politics at Hayward Gallery in London features the work of artists who have used drag to explore or question identity, gender, class and politics.


 

Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror at Hepworth Wakefield (UK)
until October 7

Sassen is one of the most innovative photographers working today and cites Surrealism as one of her earliest artistic influences, seen in the uncanny shadows, fragmented bodies and dream-like landscapes in her work.

For Hot Mirror Sassen selects individual images from her notable art photography series of the last ten years, as well as new photographs and collages. These selections are be combined to create ‘image-poems’ that draw on the Surrealist strategies of collage. Hot Mirror also presents a new version of Sassen’s immersive film, Totem, 2014, which places the visitor inside a surreal landscape.


 

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed at Whitney Museum of American Art (New York)
until October 8

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed highlights the work of Eckhaus Latta, a compelling young design team who belongs to a new generation of designers operating at the intersection of fashion and contemporary art. The New York- and Los Angeles-based fashion label was founded in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus (b. 1987) and Zoe Latta (b. 1987), who met as students at the Rhode Island School of Design. They are known for using unexpected materials, emphasizing texture and tactility in their designs, and for incorporating writing, performance, and video into their practice. Through collaborations with artists, musicians, and others, and an approach that plays both with and against industry conventions, Eckhaus Latta addresses the crosscurrents of desire, social relations, and consumption.

For their first solo museum exhibition, Eckhaus Latta will present a new three-part installation that embraces and brings into conversation various aspects of the fashion industry, from advertising and the consumer experience to voyeurism. The installation begins with a sequence of photographs that play on the tropes of iconic fashion photospreads, exploring how Eckhaus Latta’s unique aesthetic functions in relation to the highly polished look of the industry’s media. The core of Possessed is an operational retail environment in which visitors may touch, try on, and purchase clothing and accessories designed specifically for the show. Elements of the space—such as clothing racks, display shelves, and a dressing room—were created by more than a dozen artists with whom Eckhaus Latta has been in dialogue. The exhibition concludes with a darkened room, evocative of a security office, which features a bank of screens depicting surveillance footage. Visitors will have a voyeuristic view of the rest of the installation, as well as a glimpse into the tracking and surveillance that often accompanies the experience of shopping.


 

DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politics at Hayward Gallery (London)

until October 14

This free exhibition features the work of more than 30 artists who have used drag to explore or question identity, gender, class and politics, from the 1960s to the present day. Alongside key figures such as Pierre Molinier, VALIE EXPORT, Robert Mapplethorpe and Cindy Sherman, the exhibition also includes self-portraits by a younger generation of contemporary artists who have recently embraced drag as an art form, including Adam Christensen and Victoria Sin.

Rather than offering a linear or chronological narrative, this exhibition aims to present a multitude of voices that explore cultural shifts of the past 50 years and touch on topics that include the 1980s AIDS crisis and post-colonial theory. Focused on photography but spanning a variety of other media, DRAG is accompanied by a programme of tours led by drag performers.


 

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