“The man who sees fashion as no more than fashion is a fool. Elegant living does not exclude either thought or science; it crowns them. It must learn not only to savour time, but also to use it in an extremely lofty order of ideas.” Honoré de Balzac
The threads linking Art and Fashion are constantly weaving new patterns as the two fields observe, reflect and represent each other, measure and conceptualize each other. The walls once raised between High Art and the minor arts – the “applied arts” as they are known – have become porous, as they were when artists were essentially artisans. Today, more than ever, in France and elsewhere, to be interested in the dialogue between art and fashion is to question hierarchies and the kind of judgement that is always ready to create new dichotomies and raise up new values. For ourselves, as lovers of the arts, it is all a matter of looking at the world, of accepting it in its totality, and working against all forms of segregation. For us, all creative forms are ways of fighting time, and all creators worthy of the name are “murderers of death” (Pascal Quignard), and all forms of beauty seek to make a stand, in one way or another, against “the shame of being a man” (Primo Levi). “Direction Artistique”?
This is as much the direction we wish to take as where we want this exhibition to go. It is also the everyday reality of fashion designers, makers of the fashion we love, the fashion that liberates us from stereotypes, from the everyday, from our body, from social determinism: fashion that, like art, is a liberating power. “In the end, wearing clothes is an act of the imagination, an invention of self, a fiction.” So wrote Siri Hustvedt, on the subject of corsets. We love the corset, that art of intimate space, as we love the arts of public space. The words “Direction Artistique” link art and fashion as powerfully as our bodies do – our bodies, those objects of representation and de-corpo-reification, those fundamental instruments of life and art. The exhibition “Direction Artistique” will thus be full of reflections on the body, on words, on literature, on music and on history. Because – said Balzac again – “Dressing is at once a science, an art, a habit and a feeling.”
Direction Artistique: from January 10 to February 14, 2015,
curated by Barbara Polla & Magda Danysz
Artists, designers and intellectuals are invited to respond to Frédérique Mory’s precious collection of fashion drawings by the greatest designers of the 20th century, such as Barbara Bui, Diane von Furstenberg, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, (published in Bloc-Mode, Editions de La Martinière 2008)… Artists in the exhibition are: Hubert Barrère, Gael Davrinche, Leslie Deere, mounir fatmi, Maro Michalakakos, Frank Perrin, Sabine Pigalle, Matt Saunders, Julien Serve, Zoë Sheehan Saldaña. Lecture : Paul Ardenne will talk about Fashion Photography on January 10, from 3pm to 5pm
Opening : January 10th, from 6pm to 9pm Venue : Galerie Magda Danysz, 78 rue Amelot, Paris 11