Presented for the very first time in the UK, Comme des Marxists, a radical commentary on modern life, exhibits as part of the 10 year anniversary of Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion. The exhibition features work by Austrian born and New York based artist Rainer Ganahl, as part of his ongoing investigations into the relationships between daily life, culture, economic systems and political structures.
It is curated by Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s Camilla Palestra, in celebration of their 10th anniversary, examines how fashion and art can be a political force for change, and showcases Ganahl’s contemporary analysis of how capitalism works, injecting humour and drawing connections between class struggle, politics, design, and consumerism.
Creating connections between the industrial revolution, tragedies such as the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, the production and consumption of luxury goods, and both fine art and fashion, Comme des Marxists challenges our understanding of the fashion system.
Using a playful, humorous, yet thought provoking approach, the artist draws inspiration from sources as diverse as artists Kazimir Malevich, Richard Serra, and Joseph Beuys to designer Karl Lagerfeld; fashion houses Comme des Garcons and Hermes; to high street brands such as Benetton and Joe Fresh and whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Rainer Ganahl said:
My work on Comme des Marxists addresses social realities expressed through the medium of fashion alongside my mind set as an artist. I am naturally interested in social relationships that deal with class, power, gender, race, education and technology.
Visitors can expect to see in London what I exhibited at White Columns in NYC in 2013, but this show is much more exciting as it will be displayed in a fashion context and not exclusively as art. As much as I see myself as an artist and not a fashion designer, I would love to create a fashion line that embraces my concept for the future of fashion. One that anticipates flooded cities in which the lower part of the outfit protects us from poisoned waters and the upper part protects us from lethal boiling radiation.
The exhibition is open from Friday 5 October 2018 until 12 January 2019.