Fashion can be limited at times for its material and functionality requirements — after all, someone usually has to be able to wear it. But Alter Angle at SomoS Art House, coinciding with Berlin Fashion Week, works around the usual expectations of creativity in fashion. Instead of the flashy runways that one might associate with the annual jam-packed week, this small show emphasizes creative processes of fringe areas of fashion in a playful way.
Margot Charbonnier’s installation Make Yourself at Home dominates the room in size. But with its grandmotherly-hued fabric similar to a curtain or quilt, at first glance does not seem to be even of distant relation to the cutting-edge of fashion. The accompanying video however slowly builds up to a couple tenderly folding, tucking, buttoning, and scrunching the swaths into a garment — one that causes viewers to murmur at the unexpected transformation.
Staring down at this quilted fabric is Chaca’s Mohawk-headdress. The golden spikes and silken yet wild ponytail relishes in a sharper and punchier aesthetic. However, the piece is only at its best when worn — hanging on display it is only a lonely accessory, but in the adjacent photo of it on a model, the piece becomes a part of a personality or performance.
These performative aspects of each artist is what ties them together — from Anthony Lycett’s whimsical and saturated fashion portraits, to Nelson Santos’ Fear and Loathing -esque horrifically delightful drawings, to Igor Dewe’s videos such as Selling My Juice in which the artist cheekily takes the fruit barely covering his body and squeezes it onto a crotch-belted juicer for a glass of $1 fresh nectar for street-passersby (kiss included in price). There is no chance that you will mix up one of the artists for another, and that diversity makes for a charming show that further develops questions of sensuality and beauty.
SomoS Art House
“Alter Angle” – GROUP SHOW
Opening Reception: Jan. 14; 7pm
Exhibition: Jan. 14 – Jan. 19, 2014
Kottbusser Damm 95 (click here for map)
Blog entry by AJ Kiyoizumi in Berlin; Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.