DOSSIER JOURNAL ONLINE, MARCH 2012
“LOOKING FOR A FUTURE WITH A POSITIVE VIBRANT ENERGY.”
This is how Rei Kawakubo described her Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer collection to the New York Times’ Amy Spindler in 1995, although the designer could just as well have been talking about Paris at that exact moment.
*95 (IN PARIS, THE OUTSIDERS ARE OFFICIALLY IN) is an exhibition by Marc Hundley, Ian Hundley and Nick Relph loosely based on their shared experience of the Comme show in Paris in 1995.
Curators Robert Milne and Sinisa Mackovic (together known as Rainoff) selected works in which the artists attend to this common history. According to Mackovic, Comme des Garcons is less the subject of the exhibition than an adhesive holding it all together.
A work from Relph involving a Comme shirt is not rooted in the brand or even the shirt, but in a study of color etymology. Plaid, if you will, is the intersection of individual colors with history and a particular significance. Similarly, the works in the show form a complete picture that transcends one time or one place.
“Timeless” is, unfortunately, a word that has come to belong almost exclusively to a vocabulary of design, yet it is the word that best fits the works in *95. In documenting and re-presenting that particular time, that particular place, the artists have brought what was and what could have been into what is and what might still be.