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Dialogues: Fashion Beyond the Wearable – Göteborgs konstmuseum

12 May 2023–7 January 2024

Floor 6, room 29, floor 5, room 4 and 15 and the Sculpture Hall.

In the exhibition Dialogues: Fashion Beyond the Wearable, four of the most renowned Swedish fashion designers of the 21st century engage in a dialogue with some of the classics of art history found in the collection of the Gothenburg Museum of Art. They present new works and installations with connections to artists such as Louise Nevelson, Berit Lindfeldt, Rodin, Henry Moore, and the 17th-century German artist Ottmar Elliger the Elder.

Sandra Backlund, Martin Bergström, Helena Hörstedt and Diana Orving have set the tone in Swedish fashion since the turn of the millennium. With fashion beyond the wearable, they engage in a dialogue with the collection of the Gothenburg Museum of Art. These four fashion designers’ work, methods, and questions have many similarities with contemporary artists, not only visually but also conceptually. In the exhibition, they show new site-specific textile sculptures, installations, and moving images.

The relationship between the fashion world and art has been varied throughout history but is constantly recurring and more or less clear. During the 20th century, the boundaries between art and fashion were sometimes strict. Fashion has often been regarded as something superficial, as an artistic genre without depth where most of it has been about beautiful creations and attitude. Today, the difference between different artistic genres is no longer as sharp. Over time, the concepts have become more unruly. Both fashion and art expand, mutate, and merge into each other. Much of what happens in the borderland between them gives us keys to understanding what is going on around us. In fashion, just as in art, the prevailing zeitgeist and its ideals are reflected and thus give expression to the rhythm and taste of our time, what we call contemporary.

In recent years, the Gothenburg Museum of Art has consistently worked with the historical art’s relationship to the present and to raise awareness and problematize taste conventions and hierarchies in the art world. By allowing contemporary art and the collection to interact, new contexts and meanings are created that add new dimensions to both the exhibited works and the museum.

A catalogue is produced for the exhibition in collaboration with Skarp Projects and Studio Bon.
Producer: Andrea Hasselrot
Editor: Johan Lindberg
Preface: Patrik Steorn
Text: Daniel Björk
Design: Magnus Klahr

The project is a collaboration between the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Skarp Projects and producer/curator Andrea Hasselrot.

Top Image: Martin Bergström in dialogue with Ottmar Elliger d ä. Wreath, (Mixed media, textile, digital printing)
Photo: Hossein Sehatlou.