Die Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), die von Architektin Zaha Hadid entworfen wurde, ist das jüngste Wahrzeichen Seouls. Coats! Seoul ist in der Art Hall 1 der DDP untergebracht: Die Ausstellung beginnt mit der standortspezifischen digitalen Installation der koreanischen Künstlerin Yiyun Kang. Das Kunstwerk beschäftigt sich mit der Tiefe der relationalen Umgebungen über Installationen, die eine erweiterte Umgebung und so Mehrdeutigkeiten in der Wahrnehmung entstehen lassen. Zu diesem Anlass ergründet Kang den Raum einer riesigen Kuppel, wobei er auch die legendäre Kamelwolle in eine strahlende und lebendige Materie verwandelt, die die Piazza, um die sich die Ausstellung dreht, visuell dominiert.
Fünfziger Jahre: der Gründer. Achille Maramotti und der Traum vom Mantel.
In den fünfziger Jahren hat Achille Maramotti einen Traum: Er möchte den Herrenmantel in eine Legende der Damenmode verwandeln und ein Kleidungsstück der Schneiderkunst in einen Produktionszyklus integrieren. Es ist ein moderner Traum, der auf einer unternehmerischen Eingebung basiert und ihn dazu bringt, „sofort und leicht tragbare“ konfektionierte Jacken und Anzüge für Damen zu herzustellen und im Jahr 1951 die Firma Maramotti Confezioni in Reggio Emilia zu gründen. Das Leben des Gründers durch die Tür seines Studios zu betrachten, bedeutet, seine Welt zu betreten und für einen Moment seinen Traum zu träumen.
Sechziger Jahre: das Kreativstudio. Der demokratische Mantel, die Designer und der Pop.
In den sechziger Jahren sammelt Max Mara die visuellen Anregungen, die aus den neuen Hauptstädten der Mode kommen (London, Paris), und interpretiert den Wandel des Konsums und die wachsende Rolle junger Menschen in der Definition einer neuen Mode. Das Kreativstudio, das sich innerhalb des Unternehmens in Reggio Emilia befindet, verwandelt die Entwürfe der besten Modeschöpfer aus jener Zeit in Produkte. Es ist reich gefüllt mit Bildern im Stil des Pop, voller Atmosphäre sowie Ausdruck der Explosion der Jugendkultur und der Trends der neuen Metropolen.
Das erste Jahrzehnt der Zweitausender Jahre: die Fashion Show. Die Modenschau zwischen Backstage und neuen Trends.
Scheinwerfer, Blitzlicht, Fotografien, Musik, Rhythmus, ungeduldiges Warten, Neugier, das Erscheinen der Kleidungsstücke auf dem Laufsteg und die Emotion, in der ersten Reihe zu sitzen. Ausgehend von acht legendären Mänteln, die von den Modenschauen ausgewählt wurden, lässt Max Mara einen idealen Laufsteg entstehen, der die Atmosphäre und Trends des ersten Jahrzehnts der Zweitausender Jahre in Szene setzt. Die glamouröse Atmosphäre der Mode des letzten Jahrzehnts erzählt die wachsende Rolle Prominenter beim Verbreiten des internationalen Stils der Max Mara-Frau. Die edlen Mäntel der Kollektion Atelier und die Tasche Whitney, die in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Renzo Piano Building Workshop entworfen wurde, bezeugen die kontinuierliche Forschungs- und Designarbeit von Max Mara.
Siebziger Jahre: Colorama. Der Mantel in Farbe und die Kunst des Experimentierens.
Neue Formen, neue Materialien, neue Farben, neue Herstellungsverfahren und neue Kreative: Das Protestklima der Siebziger Jahre lässt einen bis dahin nie dagewesenen visuellen Code entstehen, der mit der Geburt der Marke Sportmax (1969) und der ersten experimentellen Modenschau unter der Leitung von Jean-Charles de Castelbajac im Jahr 1976 einhergeht. In diesem besonderen Klima, das zum Experimentieren und Kreieren einlädt, stehen die Trends der – vorrangig französischen – Kreativen im Dialog mit der Stilabteilung und den produktiven Anforderungen des Unternehmens.
THE FASHION SHOW
Zweitausender Jahre: die Max Mara-Frauen. Die Reise des Mantels und das weibliche Universum.
Max Mara hat den Wandel und das Empowerment der Frauen mitgestaltet, indem es seit jeher Kreativität und zeitgemäße Kunst gefördert hat, die historisch Teil der DNA des Unternehmens sind. So verleiht das Modehaus zum Beispiel seit 2005 in Zusammenarbeit mit der Whitechapel Gallery den Max Mara Art Prize for Women, einen Preis für zeitgenössische Kunst, der von der Collezione Maramotti gefördert wird und jungen englischen Künstlerinnen gewidmet ist. Seit 2006 unterstützt es zudem die Organisation Women in Film mit dem Max Mara Face of the Future Award®, der bedeutende persönliche Verdienste von Schauspielerinnen prämiert, die sich an einem Wendepunkt in ihrer Karriere befinden.
Neunziger Jahre: das Fotoshooting, die Erzählung des Mantels und das perfekte Foto.
In der Geschichte von Max Mara lässt das Aufeinandertreffen von Mode und großen Fotografen bleibende Aufnahmen entstehen. Verewigt werden dabei die Qualität des Produktes und die Details, die jeden Mantel besonders und seine Interpretation durch die Trägerin einzigartig machen. In den neunziger Jahren wird die Suche nach dem perfekten Foto, das die minimalistische Atmosphäre und den essenziellen Luxus der Mäntel von Max Mara getragen von internationalen Topmodels erzählt, zu einem zentralen Element. Das Produkt und der Prozess der Kreation eines Kleidungsstück, werden Gegenstand des Storytelling: Sonderkataloge, Videos der Modenschauen, Backstage-Fotos und das MM Magazine sind die neuen Instrumente, die zu einem erzählerischen Umbruch in der Mode führen.
Achtziger Jahre: die Ikone. Der Zauber des Mantels und das italienische Können.
In einem Jahrzehnt, in dem die Mode italienisch spricht und italienische Designer die internationale Aufmerksamkeit auf sich ziehen, entwirft die französische Modeschöpferin Anne Marie Beretta im Jahr 1981 einen zeitlosen Mantel: den Ikonen-Mantel 101801, durch den die tiefgründige Identität von Max Mara Form annimmt. Die neue Fabrik in San Maurizio, die 1988 eingeweiht wurde, erzählt den Zauber des Produktionsprozesses und der Phasen der Realisierung der Mäntel, die das Symbol der Marke sind: So wird der Kamelhaarmantel in den 1980er Jahren zur kultivierten und femininen Uniform der berufstätigen Frau.
THE MAX MARA WOMEN
Coats! A journey into Max Mara Heritage
Starting November 28th a new edition of Coats! the exhibition dedicated to over 60 years of history of Max
Mara, will open in Seoul, Korea, in the futuristic and multi-functional DDP (Dongadaemun Design Plaza)
designed by Zaha Hadid. After Moscow (2011), Beijing (2009), Tokyo (2007) and Berlin (2006), Coats! is designed once again by Studio MIGLIORE+SERVETTO ARCHITECTS. The exhibition will be shown inside a monumental dome inspired by theutopian architecture of Étienne-Louis Boullée. It will present a completely new overview of the Max Mara Heritage.
This journey plunges visitors right into the heart of the history of the coat and of the brand, winding its
way through seven themed rooms: a series of modern-day wunderkammer, packed with garments, sounds,
memorabilia and interactive features representing the vision that moved Max Mara’s founder, Achille
Maramotti: “to make the ordinary extraordinary”. The intuition that inspired him to turn the masculine coat into
an icon of the womenswear wardrobe is one of the most visionary adventures of the Italian clothing industry.
The exhibition starts from the dream of the perfect coat.
Coats! opens with the site-specific digital installation by the Korean artist Yiyun Kang, curated by renowned
Daehyung Lee. It will explore the space of the dome, turning features of the production process and images
from the Max Mara’s historical archive into patterns; a bright, living material that will give a distinctive visual
slant to the exhibition’s piazza, a route through seven rooms of the Max Mara world. The rooms can be visited
either in chronological order or according to theme, following the emotions, music, shifts in atmospheres,
scenarios and colours that mark the move from one decade to the next.
Each room opens with a set, a sort of theatrical representation, suspended between imagination and reality,
which metaphorically places the focus on a specific theme of Max Mara’s history:
• The founder. Achille Maramotti and the dream of the coat (‘50s)
• Creative study. The democratic coat, designers and pop (‘60s)
• Colorama. The coat in technicolor and the art of experimentation (‘70s)
• The icon. The magic of the coat and Italian know how (‘80s)
• The set. The representation of the coat and the perfect image (‘90s)
• The Max Mara women. The journey of the coat and the female universe (2000)
• The fashion show. Runway glamour and new projects (last decade of 2000)
Over ninety coats are on show in the exhibition, starting from the first ones from the 50s to the more recent
ones that walked the Milan runway, and of course the iconic 101801 style. Beginning from the early days of
dressmaking and its evolution into fashion, the coats show the changes in taste, society and lifestyles that have marked each decade, together with sketches by the designers who have worked with Max Mara (Anne Marie Beretta, Emmanuelle Khanh, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Charles de CastelBajac, Narciso Rodriguez, Giambattista Valli and Proenza Schouler). The exhibition features historical magazines, raw materials, advertising campaigns shot by legendary fashion photographers (Richard Avedon, Arthur Elgort, Steven Meisel, Sarah Moon, Max Vadukul, Mario Sorrenti, David Sims and Craig McDean); celebrities portraits and everyday objects (sewing machines, measuring tapes, scissors etc) and artworks that are the fruit of the dialogue between contemporary artists and the founder, avid art collector. This continues today with the Collezione Maramotti.
Featuring fascinating items belonging to the historical archive of the Group the exhibition offers a
reconstruction of the varieties of stories and inventions behind the know how of Max Mara illustrating the
evolution of the product and the design culture underlying each garment. Coats! reveals how the family
business, by engaging with the local area, Reggio Emilia, and with the world, has been able to interpret the
desires of women since 1951 right up to today.
Read the press release
1. Have you ever worked on a fashion project before? / Is this your first work with the fashion world? No I haven’t. / Yes. This is the first time I have worked in the world of fashion.
2. When was your first meeting with the Max Mara Company and how did you react? My first visit to Reggio Emilia was in May, 2017. Before the visit to the Max Mara HQ, Factory, Archive, and Maramotti Collezione, my understanding of the operations of the company was superficial. The visit helped me to not only understand but also genuinely ‘feel’ the philosophy of the company. At the heart of its philosophy, there are people who really appreciate it and try hard to adhere to its values. I found it to be a particularly inspirational experience.
3. Did you know about Max Mara previously? Yes, of course.
4. How did you feel during the visit to the Max Mara archives in Reggio Emilia? I truly admire Max Mara’s respect for their heritage and values and the effort that has been put in to support them. While I was working at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) as a resident artist, something I will never forget was my visit to their archive and storage facilities. I realized that the overall quality of the museum is reflected by the perfect maintenance of its archive collections and a profound respect of its history. I felt the same way when I visited Reggio Emilia.I was deeply impressed by the focus on its essence, and I believe that it is rooted in the company’s archive.
5. What do you think about fashion? How do you deal with it? By definition, fashion is a trend. It is a style in dress, ornament, or manners of behavior. To me, fashion is not just a fast-changing trend, but a means of expressing one’s character and feelings that can also reflect the specificities of an occasion. I also believe that the choice of fashion relates to a fundamental understanding of my own physical body.
6. It is clear that art influences fashion. Do you think that fashion influences art too? As I have just pointed out, fashion is a trend; it is a movement, a tendency, and an inclination that is closely related to desire. I consider such trends that originate from desire to be also very important in art. Nowadays, I feel that fashion is not only about garments but also about creativity and lifestyle as a whole. For example, Max Mara manifests its identity not only through their fashion items, but also through their archive, Maramotti Collezione, and the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. In this way, fashion and art can cohabit by sharing influences and supporting each other.
7. Where do you think that fashion and art meet? I certainly believe that they coincide in this exhibition! To continue from the previous question, I feel that this exhibition is one kind of Max Mara’s holistic manifestations. It is not only about the history of Max Mara’s clothes but also about its heritage and a deep respect for art. I believe that this exhibition will generate a dynamic experience that can connect the company with its audience through the contemporary artwork.
8. How do you think it is possible to combine your language with the language of fashion? First of all, I don’t think that I completely comprehend the language of fashion. However, it seems to me that, at least in the case of Max Mara, the fundamental language of my work and that of fashion have a great deal in common. In Max Mara’s consistent philosophy and respect for its heritage, I find a craftsmanship that is not volatile. Moreover, Max Mara’s minimal and modernistic aesthetic style coincides with my own visual language. I appreciate that my work and Max Mara’s designs avoid superfluousness and redundancy; both are faithful to the essence, in such a way that people often feel that they are more poetic than decorative.
9. What is the difference between an art production and a fashion one? Both are actually quite similar. To produce works of art and fashion requires effort, perfection, and collaboration on many levels. However, as art is not always produced with a sale in mind, the art-making is sometimes very spontaneous and intuitive. I suppose that the objective of making a sale draws an essential distinction between art and fashion. I think that art has relatively more freedom than fashion in terms of developing its concepts, visualization, and approaching its audience.
10. What are the starting points and inspiration behind your artworks? Surface and depth are vitally important, as is desire. Fabric wraps and constructs the volume of the human body. When aesthetics intervenes, it becomes a fashion. Fashion is closely related to desire. Max Mara’s fashion is not superficial but deep. Dome is not just a surface, it is simultaneously an environment. This is a deep, volumetric dimension. These are my starting points and they form the key concepts of this work.
11. What relationship is there between your art and Korean culture? Has Korean culture influenced your artwork? I don’t think that Korean heritage has significantly influenced my work on a surface level. Rather, the influences of Korean culture exist on a subconscious level. My installations are mostly sitespecific, so I’m quite adaptable to given conditions and flexible when it comes to mixing my language into the existing structure in order to create a new experience. Similarly, contemporary Korean culture also has a high degree of adaptability and remixability. For example, let’s take a look at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) which is the venue of the COAT exhibition. Within 5 minutes of the site, you can see Dongdaemoon (a.k.a Heunginjimun), a prominent Korean historical landmark built in the 14th century, Dongdaemoon market, a large commercial district comprising of traditional markets and shopping centers, and the DDP itself, a futuristic complex designed by Zaha Hadid. As such, all of these conflicting values have somehow harmoniously converged into contemporary Korean culture. We’re good at blending diverse qualities in order to create a new environment, and I think this distinctive feature of Korean culture intuitively affects my work.
12. Space is very important for your work. How has the element of the dome conditioned your project? The dome has been a very challenging canvas for me. Moreover, the dome at the COAT exhibition is 20 meters in diameter. It is not an object, but rather an environment that is completely immersive, absorptive even. Our perception of and engagement in this environment is considerably different to that of other types of screens. Therefore, I firstly needed to investigate how the dome structure is conceptually and practically different so I could produce a video that is interconnected with the dome structure. In this way, the narrative of my projection could be developed with careful consideration of its environment; it is an immersive dome.
13. What kind of audience engagement are you looking for with your artworks? The architect Ico and I have critically focused on the pathway of this exhibition, which is openstructured. Members of the audience can navigate and create their own itinerary within this environment. Thus, my projections on the dome also coincide with the concept of the pathway. My projection neither takes a cinematic linear narrative nor does it have a definite start and end point. Rather, it flows between the surface of the dome and the volume of the environment in a constant loop. As a result, the audience can stay as long as they want, either hovering or immersing themselves. I have attempted to invite viewers to take their own journey between the Wunderkammer rooms and the dome space, between object and environment, and between surface and depth.
by Daehyung Lee (Curator, Korean Pavilion, Venice Biennale - Art Director, Hyundai Motor Company)
The work of art, created by the London based Korean artist Yiyun Kang in collaboration with MaxMara, one of the world’s premier fashion brands, creates a sublime landscape showcasing the trajectories of moving images at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul. Kang is a master of illusions (but not of deceptions, as I will soon explain). She uses the technology of spatial projection mapping to transform space and existing architectural structures in a manner that collapses the opposition between concepts - materiality/immateriality, reality/virtuality, presence/absence, analog/digital, body/machine, fact/fiction, history/myth - which are central to our perceptual orientation, epistemic ordering of the world, and anchoring of subjectivity.
For her work Deep Surface (an oxymoron that undoes another key dichotomy), Kang uses the same technology to project images onto the internal surface of a dome. The projection consists of dancers moving and pressing their bodies against a white screen, which stretches and puckers with their movements. As a result, the mixture of the dome structure and Kang’s digital moving images has conceived new modes of spectatorship that erodes both the boundaries between illusion and reality, and the disparities between individual voyeuristic experiences and interpersonal modes of observation. As the work’s title emphasizes, the dancers only become visible through an illusory surface but simultaneously seem to exist in a depth or space beyond our vision—in a liminal place between the image and the dome that cannot possibly exist. The outlines of the dancers’ faces and body parts appear fleetingly but with a force that begs for connection. The effect is of a sculpture in motion reminiscent of Michelangelo’s unfinished marble sculptures in which deceivingly life-like figures seem to emerge, as if out of their own volition, from inanimate blocks of rock.
There is a clear correspondence between Kang’s dome and Plato’s cave as enclosed spaces. In
addition, Kang’s dancers immediately echo Plato’s dancing shadows. Yet Deep Surface also
distinguishes itself from Plato’s allegory in an important way.
ndeed, while Plato’s cave underscored people’s trust in their perceptions and unquestioning adherence to a body of knowledge constructed on the aforementioned perceptions, Kang’s work has the opposite effect.
Because Kang’s projections completely dissolve the solidity of the dome and disrupt our sense of space and order and, by extension, our cognitive centering, Deep Surface injects us with an intense sense of bodily experience triggered by highly immersive environments. We are mesmerized and even absorbed by the work’s trompe l’oeil effects and yet critically aware of their unattainable illusory nature. Trapped behind the cloth, the dancers—who cannot see us or our world beyond the white screen—become clear metaphors of our own confinement within our always finite and imperfect worldview. In this manner, Deep Surface places its dancers in the same position as Plato’s prisoners, which in turn allows us, the audience, to experience a revelatory Brechtian distancing or estrangement effect.
Deep Surface also creates an analogy between the white screen and its projected footage of camel cloth, the signature material of the luxury fashion brand Max Mara. Of course, fashion has an intimate relationship to the human body and can act as a radical form of self-expression. The work, for instance, creates a parallel between the expressive movements of the dancers and the flowing folds of the projected camel cloth. However, the white screen in Deep Surface is the medium through which we obtain an oxymoronic context that highlights the impossibility of understanding the notion of ‘depth’ in isolation from that of ‘surface’ and vice versa. The work thus suggests that fashion, rather than being a mere trend or a form of spectacle as if often assumed, can be a medium through which we discover new realities and new subject positions. Indeed, the rest of the chambers in the installations - the wonder cabinets - offer us an encyclopedic understanding of Max Mara, while narrating history through its creation. Through these rooms, we can thus shift our view of history, fashion, and MaxMara in a manner that is analogous to the discoveries triggered by the rest of Kang’s installation.