Autumn 2009: The Art of Fashion
September 2009

Exhibition design

By Judith Clark, joint guest curator and exhibition designer:
"The exhibition is created and organised around the five new commissions by avant-garde designers Walter Van Beirendonck, Hussein Chalayan, Naomi Filmer, Viktor & Rolf and Anna-Nicole Ziesche. It therefore creates a context for work that did not yet exist at the time of curating nor in fact during the exhibition design process, other than as a few sketches.

Ink drawing Judith Clark, London 2009
Ink drawing Judith Clark, London 2009

A museological landscape made up of many other objects had to be staged with an unknown future written into it. A context needed to be created into which the new work might fit, be intelligible and inspiring.

The exhibition is situated in the large Bodon Gallery and has within it associations to do with exhibition-making and to do with the history of the extraordinary space itself. The five commissions are more or less evenly-spaced focal points within the exhibition and related fashion and artworks are placed in formal and thematic relation to them, creating what
appears to be a continuous genealogy across the three sections of the gallery.

The descriptions received from the designers of each of the commissions evoked a very precise spatial association and dictated the spatial articulation of the gallery: a disorientating
dimly lit spiral corridor containing at its end Viktor & Rolf ’s new fragrance Alternative No. 1, an ever widening processional avenue leading up to Walter Van Beirendonck’s sarcophagus and ‘temple’, ‘2357’ – THE SEQUEL, the need for extra space surrounding Naomi Filmer’s to be sucked in and out of her series Breathing Volume, the inevitable darkness around Anna-Nicole Ziesche’s film Childhood Storage and the horizontal archaeology of Hussein Chalayan’s Micro Geography: a Cross Section, as well as the natural elements pulling it towards the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen gallery space’s dramatic window."

This is a fragment of the chapter by Judith Clark in the catalogue The Art of Fashion. Installing Allusions. available in the museumshop for €17,50. (ISBN: 978-90-6918-241-4)