Eckhaus Latta was established in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta is a US-based bi-coastal, collaborative creative practice. Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is the duo’s exhibition and first solo venture, debuting at the Whitney Museum of American Art in August 2018.

Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta met as students at Rhode Island School of Design. They set up Eckhaus Latta in 2011 and the brand, based in Los Angeles and New York and known for collaborations with artists, musicians and designers, reflects an increasing trend for practices that operate between the worlds of fashion and art.

Four colour projections displayed in Eckhaus LattaL Posessed exhibition space leaning against the wall containing a photograph close up of a women's face, a full length shot of a woman, a torso and head shot of a women and a foot in a sock standing on a ball.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

Gallery space with 3 sets of clothes rails displaying garments, with t shirts tin the foreground and trousers in the background, lit by a suspended ceiling light and with a counter with rugs and objects.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

Possessed was staged at the Whitney Museum of American Art in August 2018. The exhibition consisted of three sections: a series of large-format, back-lit images questioningly placing Eckhaus Latta products within the conventions of glossy fashion images; an operational retail environment with furniture, fittings and products supplied by regular Eckhaus Latta collaborators; and a darkened room featuring a bank of video surveillance screens on which visitors could voyeuristically observe the main installation space.

Gallery space with 3 sets of clothes rails displaying garments, with t shirts tin the foreground and with brightly coloured rugs on the floor and objects. plastic crates in the centre with clothing laid on them.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

The exhibition entrance panel clearly explains Eckhaus Latta’s intention, through the exhibition, to examine ‘desire, consumption, and collaborative modes of creation through a linear progression of experiences.’ The main body of the installation, designed as ‘an operational retail environment’ invited customers/visitors to ‘touch, try on, and purchase clothing and accessories’ claiming that ‘unlike traditional museum displays of fashion on mannequins set at a distance from the viewer, the installation fosters intimate interaction with the garments.’

 

Grey sweatshirts trimmed with dark pink containing pink writing on the back.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

I interacted…and bought a sweatshirt: a re-purposed ‘Boundary Waters’ sweatshirt, turned inside out, the neck and wrists dipped in dye and a poetic text printed on the back. A label added to the inside denotes the garment as a ‘SPECIAL MUSEUM EXHIBITION PRODUCT’ and also features the date, location and title of the show from which it was bought. I’m not certain whether I questioned the dynamics of fashion consumption or was seduced into consuming? I’m not certain whether I experienced a new form of fashion exhibition or visited a shop? What I did consider was that Possessed (like Fashion After Fashion, Museum of Art and Design, New York, 2017 and Passer-by, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2018) potentially expands the field of fashion curation by critically engaging with the systems of fashion production and consumption as well as their resultant products.

Various TV screens each showing different images on black background.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

Gallery space with clothes rail displaying garments, with t shirts and jackets in the foreground, and garments hung on the wall, lit by a suspended ceiling light and with a counter with rugs and objects.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

Jeff Horsley

Jeff Horsley is a researcher  for CfFC as well as courseleader for MA Fashion Curation

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed, Whitney Museum of American Art

3 August-8 October 2018

Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York