vendredi 11 mars 2011


MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt/Main is showing how fashion changes our view of the world. In the 1990s, the fashion scene fundamentally reinvented specifically the medium of photography. That decade gave rise to a new generation for whom personal identity, individualism and a self-defined style were of crucial importance. Back then, the joie de vivre of the generation of 20-30 year-old creative minds thrived on music, subculture, intimacy and fashion. A new notion of corporeality was being celebrated in the major capitals of the world, such as London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin and Paris. The protagonists of this era sought to distinguish themselves from the established art and fashion scenes, and develop an alternative, lived counter-culture. They felt that the overly artificial images of prêt-à-porter, haute couture and glossy fashion magazines needed to be overcome and replaced with “real life” pictures instead Youth-Culture. They thus collectively dismissed the notion of the beautiful, and tried to elide gender differences and other social conventions.

The exhibition at MMK demonstrates just how radical and innovative this new generation was and highlights the strong impact it has had on the visual arts to this very day. The complex show will present some 200 works of photography, original documents along with an extensive program of live events, illustrating the cross-fertilization and mutual influence of fashion design, photography and art. This is expressed first and foremost in magazines such as i-D Magazine, The Face, Six, Visionaire, and Purple. Ten photographers, all of whom are trailblazers of that decade, will showcase selected works and series in the rooms of MMK, with artists such Wolfgang Tillmans, Mark Borthwick, Corinne Day, Anders Edström and Jüergen Teller... choosing specific works from that era and presenting them in a new, contemporary context.

The comprehensive historical documentation of the 1990s fashion scene, and it gives a striking impression of creative practices of the day, forms a pivotal element of the exhibition. Reproductions of influential photo stories and innovative ad campaigns by the likes of Helmut Lang, Jürgen Teller or Yohji Yamamoto will be on show as will a large selection of original fashion magazines. Graphic designers M/M (Paris), who since the beginning of the 1990s have done pioneering work in fashion, advertising and magazine design, will compile this documentary overview for the exhibition.

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