Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Emperor's New Apparel in Prague

The Emperor's New Apparel
Karlin Studios, Prague
15.01 – 09.02.2014

Exhibiting artists: Apparatus 22 (RO) - Lőrinc Borsos (HU) - János Fodor (HU) - Jaroslav Kyša (SK) – Péter Szalay (HU) - Karol Radziszewski (PL)
Curator: Borbála Szalai (HU)

Referring to Andersen's tale, The Emperor's New Clothes, this exhibition – home to fictional fashion collections, imaginary outfits, and fake fashion shows – puts its focus on an invisible layer; the layer of the fictive cloth between the - naked - emperor and the public, the layer between individual and social conventions.
In our current social discourse, the question cannot be only about who can see or who dares to declare that the emperor is naked, its rather about the multiple layers and mechanisms of such a fiction, and about its undetectable effects on an everyday level. Thus by searching for the emperor's new apparel, woven from fake statements, rhetoric, social conventions and fear, the exhibition considers fashion as a kind of symbolic layer to provide a new vantage point on social issues, politics and the criticism levelled against it. In Andersen's tale, the swindler tailors fashioning the emperor's new clothes display a peculiar critical approach. The works displayed at this exhibition are all linked to this invisible, yet deeply revealing attitude, which seek the answer to questions such as: How can historical-, political subconscious be revealed by a piece of clothing? What kinds of fashion elements or accessories are tied to power? What ethical or moral contents are linked to the world of fashion? Are there any current fashion trends in the field of protesting or activism? How does history or a national symbol appear as fetish? And what is the undetectable power and impact of the emperor's new cloths?

Photo by me: Fag Fighters, 2007

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