Judith Clark has curated Homo Faber: Fashion Inside and Out part of an inaugural event at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice showcasing European craftsmanship. The exhibition, which took place in the spectacular space of the disused Gandini swimming pool, took as its theme how traditional techniques inspire contemporary design and exhibition-making.
The new installation of the galleries comes from an invitation from the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum to respond to the new curatorial route through the archive. The exhibition Cristobal Balenciaga Fashion and Heritage collects together moments in the history of the houses Balenciaga established in Spain and in Paris, and each chapter illuminates different modes of display: the aesthetics and romance of the archive, of conservation, of performed museologies that evolve and revolve around these monuments of dress history. The exhibition format allows us to build up associations and conversations across collections, each adding a new perspective. My own conversations and installation pays homage to the new routes through the archive in the way that a new visitor might, finding one’s own associations to the material. The design therefore quotes remembered past exhibitions that have paid homage to Balenciaga bringing another kind of reference to the project. We see the work through the eyes, for example, of Diana Vreeland, Marie- Andrée Jouve, Pamela Golbin, Kaat Debo, Miren Arzullaz, Hamish Bowles or Olivier Saillard, among the many curators, researchers and fashion historians who have sought new approaches to Balenciaga’s legacy, that are shown along the route as props. The architecture is temporary against the fixed vitrines of the museum: the tension between fashion and heritage underlining the questions the exhibition itself raises.
Judith Clark, March 2018
Fig. 3: Left, Hamish Bowles’s exhibition Balenciaga and Spain looked at his roots in traditional dress. His chapter on Dance is populated with images of the models in the salon wearing white gloves. Right, Naomi Filmer’s gesmonite gestures.
London College of Fashion/Clothworkers’ Centre, Blythe House, Victoria and Albert Museum 28 and 30 November 2017
This workshop will consist of sessions spread over two days: one day at the Centre for Fashion Curation (28 November 2017), and one morning at the V&A Museum’s Clothworkers’ Centre (30 November). It aims to expand the participants’ understanding of collecting and archiving through the analysis of selected garments and a focus on material object handling practices. These experiences will support participants in addressing questions and practices they may encounter as part of their research.
The workshop is intended for the growing number of Ph.D. students engaging with archives of historical dress, costume for performance and related accessories. Deriving from a range of educational and practice backgrounds, the specialist skills inherent to textile object handling, mounting and storing may not be part of their existing knowledge. Although this course will not generate fully knowledgeable experts in archival techniques, its intended outcome is to provide an introduction to the complexities of historical dress handling and insights into the practice of material culture and museology.
The training will be delivered by eminent curators and practitioners from the Centre of Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion and from the Clothworkers’ Centre, V&A Museum.
Lunch will be provided.
Visit the Techne website for full programme.
Places are limited. To apply, please email: email@example.com with a brief descriptor of your PhD project, and why and how this workshop would benefit your research (selection of attendees will be based on this). Closing date: Tuesday 31 October 2017.