’Botanized dresses’ organized by sex, folds and antennae, dissected and put under a magnifying glass. This is a passionate collection that pays attention to every odd bow and strange button.
ICON DRESSED is a poetic recreation of shape and form in women’s Fashion over the past two centuries through 14 outfits in paper.
The ICON DRESSED installation consists of 14 handmade paper dresses created from historical patterns and displayed on 14 handpicked mannequins. The flora designs printed on the industrial paper are copied from ’Flora Danica’, a classic botanical work from 1804 that also serves as reference for an exclusive Danish china set by the same name.
The ICON DRESSED installation has been shown in several museums, each time tailored to the specific space. The installation consists of 14 handmade paper dresses made from historical patterns and displayed on 14 handpicked mannequins.
The floral designs printed on the industrial paper are copied from ’Flora Danica’, a classic botanical work that also serves as reference for an exclusive Danish China set by the same name.
The fusion of high culture and low industry, already seen to be taking place in the material itself, creates a free space for new possibilities across time and space that is fundamental to the entire project. Music composed especially for the installation and human sized lenticular photos comprise a frame around the installation.
Mapping details of the dresses is a part of the agreement, metaphorically, between the way a botanist works, going into the field to collect wild flowers, and the way these dresses are chosen, copied and remade; after the fieldwork is done, you can start counting the folds in the dress the same way one counts petals and stamens. How many plaits, ruffles, tucks, frills and buttons – how do they branch out and how are they related?
’Botanized dresses’ organized by sex, folds and antennae, dissected and put under a magnifying glass. This is a passionate collection that pays attention to every odd bow and strange button. The printed designs on the paper likewise show the smallest parts of chicory, poppy, snowdrop, water lily, crocus and manna – no cultivated flowers here – seeds, husks, stems, fruits and flowers. Roots combed like hair, counted and recorded.
Did you hear that dress? Paper isn’t fabric: it’s noisy. It’s fragile and cracks like china. This rather stiff paper enhances the mutual connections between the forms and their sequences. Every crack and gap is unfolded. Making the dresses in paper instead of fabric and using the same material for every dress in a sense liberates the dresses from being dresses, underscoring them as objects. They document the history of form but only to show the contemporaneity of history.
These enlarged postcards, technical term is lenticular pictures, in their rudimentary way, mimic the essence of film – the magic of image upon image suddenly becoming movement. Moving past these human sized pictures, you bring them to life. Girls wandering through history, are glimpsed suddenly, in a split second: Did that figure just move?
A woman dressed in a paper crinoline skirt from 1960, making a somersault.
Torben Snekkestad composed a poetic, crisp and delicate sound composition for the ICON DRESSED installation. Musicians: Accordion – Frode Andersen, Double Bass – Jesper Egelund Pedersen, Clarinet – Torben Snekkestad
The Röhsska Museum, Göteborg, Sweden
MoA, Seoul National University, Seoul, South-Korea
Nordiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands