No Fashion, Please! – between Gender and Lifestyle – was the natural alternative to the Vanity Photography exhibition in Vienna’s Kunsthalle that you can still visit until the 22nd of January.
The collective of contemporary international photography scene that explores the fundamental relationship between bodies and clothes, the dialectics between the form of the body and its appearance really inspired me and my work; I loved specially Luigi&Luca and appreciated a young italian contemporary presence. You gather a different point of view on fashion related photography and gender with art that “directly or indirectly explore the diverging strategies of fashion photography. The anthological show deliberately distances itself from the applied art character of traditional functional fashion photography and, instead, examines the dreams concerned with a changing aesthetic of the body and its ideals within the last two decades.
The fashion designer, model and performance artist Leigh Bowery’s garish creations captured by the British photographer Fergus Greer in a documentary form epitomize the radical chic of the late twentieth century. Crossing borders in various respects, Bowery’s works have inspired numerous fashion designers and made him an icon of London’s sub-culture. Similarly, the works by Matthias Herrmann and Martin & The evil eyes of Nur, each in their very own way, take a stand on the strategies staged by a queer sub-culture, which have been increasingly absorbed by the consumerist mainstream of recent decades.
Numerous contributions such as those by Jeff Bark, Steven Cohen/Marianne Greber, Luigi & Luca, or Sophia Wallace relate to the dialectics between the form of the body and its appearance as well as the effects of its transformation independent of the conventions associated with clothes. Borders to other disciplines are crossed in both daring and reckless experiments. Artists working in the tradition of body art suggest models and situations that overlap with “models” of fashion, yet also permit cross-references to installations, ceremonies, and rituals. Chan-Hyo Bae’s and Lea Golda Holtermann’s photo series show that affiliations also manifest themselves in codes of clothing and that the construction of identities is based on and consolidated by these codes. The media strategies employed are manifold and span from staged photographic images, projections, and performances to body sculptures, video and film works.”
The fashion exhibitions in Vienna are followed by a blog.
Since 2007, the Italian artist duo Luigi & Luca have been sounding out the aesthetic parameters of sexuality and fashion in their artistic work. Their abundant oeuvre is especially notable for its strongly autoerotic, almost pornographic, character and makes reference to the political weight of their bodies. In their large-scale, mostly black and white tableaus, they playfully ridicule the classical iconography of older art and perform—apparently without an inner censor— polymorphous sexual rituals, which are repeatedly supplied with visual quotations from the history of art. More strongly than ever, the two artists place fashion at the centre of their artistic practice and integrate into their latest photographs items of clothing from young Berlin designers.
In addition to their photographic work, Luigi & Luca, along with the fashion editor Antonio Mingot, also publish the biannual magazine Dust. Like their photographic works, the magazine also exists at the interface between art and fashion photography. According to the artists, the magazine can be understood as a manifesto that tries to feature the innovative strategies of art, fashion, and photography and establishes them within a critical discourse about capitalism.