What is the relationship between text and paper in the 1960s fashion?
What connection could there be between a cuddly beast named Fluffy, living among 2,500 books on art and visual culture on the first floor of a renovated 1912 neoclassical building in the central Athenian district of Metaxourgeio that houses ATOPOS cvc, and a pop-up exhibition of paper-made garments taking place at the Hellenic Centre in London, featuring paper dresses from the 1960s as well as paper creations by contemporary designers and artists such as Issey Miyake, Martin Margiela, Sir Howard Hodgkin and Demna Gvasalia? Both are distinguished by the same level of inexhaustible creativity and by a deep knowledge of the work conducted at the visual culture research centre ATOPOS cvc. Both have been incorporated into the innovative ATOPOS #TextMe programme as part of the Athens 2018 World Book Capital series of events. This pair of initiatives represents parallel approaches to the same themes: the written word, art and reading.
The London exhibition, titled “#TextMe_PaperFashion,” creatively explores the relationship between the written word and paper through selected pieces from the ATOPOS cvc’s collection, which will be exhibited in the British capital for the first time following presentations at the Mudam in Luxembourg, the MoMu in Antwerp, the Bellerive Design Museum in Zurich, and the Galerie Stihl in Waiblingen. The exhibits include disposable paper dresses dating from the 1960s and covered with logos, texts, newspaper front pages, magazine covers, political slogans, and content lifted from Yellow Page directories. The exhibition also features disposable paper dresses from the same decade that were revisited and transformed for ATOPOS cvc by renowned artists and designers such as the director Robert Wilson, the painter Sir Howard Hodgkin, and Demna Gvasalia, the current artistic director at the Balenciaga luxury fashion house. The show also includes contemporary paper dresses by designers and artists such as Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Zoe Keramea and Stratis Tavlaridis.
A paper dress from 1968 that had been printed with Allen Ginsberg’s “Uptown NY” prior to this poem’s publication, justifiably steals the show, along with the “Souper Dress,” inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” and a unique series of nine paper dresses designed by Issey Miyake for the exhibition “XXIst Century Man.“ Of particular interest, the Japanese shifu garments owe their existence to the lack of raw materials for textile clothing in 16th-century Japan. In order to create clothing, poor farmers cut sheets of paper from old accounting books into strips and twisted them into yarn. Soon, however, the wealthier classes adopted this special cloth, and shifu became a cult material in Japan. The samurai used the shifu technique in order to make ceremonial clothing. According to the architect Stamos Fafalios, co-founder of ATOPOS cvc and curator of the exhibition, the “collection has proved popular with the public since the very first time it was exhibited in 2007 at the Benaki Museum in Athens.
It’s fun, it’s Pop and it’s unusual – and it tells the relatively unknown story of a trend for disposable paper clothing, which took the US by storm in 1967 and was over within just two years. Since then, the collection has grown, and the wonderful thing about it is that it can be used to tell a different story each time it’s exhibited. This time, we’re focusing on ‘texts’ and ‘textiles’ and, in an ‘atopic’ and original manner, we’re bringing together the Hellenic Centre in London, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, with Athens, which is currently celebrating being named Unesco’s World Book Capital for 2018.”
The Athens #TextMe_FluffyLibrary is an interactive installation created by the gifted artist Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou. She deals with key current topics such as identity, gender and co-existence, in warm and cuddly ways. Visitors take off their shoes at the entrance and sink into the fluffy, hospitable embrace of this highly original space. They can don furry costumes and accessories as they read and relax or enjoy interactive readings, impromptu performances and workshops, as well as other activities. Zidianakis, who’s also a historian of fashion and contemporary art, notes that “this is an atopic library, without an equivalent in the world, that overturns our stereotypical ways of reading. Here, you don’t read sitting at a desk; instead, you’re lying on the floor, amid an evolving art installation that’s also related to the body and garments, but in a brand new way. It’s a magical world to be discovered, which, once entered, isn’t easy to leave behind.”
ATOPOS cvc Paper Dress Collection will exhibit at the Hellenic Centre 16th of Jan 2019 to 24th of Feb and attendance is free of charge. For those who want to find out more, every Wednesday (19:00 – 21:00) there will be guided tours by the curators Stamos Fafalios & Vassilis Zidianakis. For more info Click here
Source: Aegean Blue Magazine