In W*115, Louise Bourgeois, one of our three guest editors chose to curate a retrospective of, and be ‘in conversation with’, her friend and collaborator Helmut Lang. And as if we weren’t already aware, the man is a creative force to be reckoned with. His intellectual approach to fashion design, together with his precise attention to detail and radical tailoring have bestowed cult status upon him. ‘Alles Gleich Schwer’ though is a collection of the designer/artist’s new artwork, and a highlight of Hanover’s citywide series of shows this month, called ‘Hanover Goes Fashion’.
Click here to see the exhibition.
Lang has found inspiration in some rather diverse areas, from abject notions of surrogate skin to maypole dancing folklore. His interests lie in ‘addressing the intersection of public and private experience as it is recorded through mythologies both personal and shared’. He is concerned with the physical, psychological and mythical boundaries that exist between the human body and the reality of the world that surrounds it.
Lang may have abandoned his fashion roots for the moment – but the fundamental concepts that define his oeuvre can be found in every corner of this exhibition. Lang’s quiet, occasionally austere style is evident throughout, from his use of materials, to his use, or indeed avoidance, of colour. For a leader in fashion it is interesting that Lang’s art is devoid of all figurative elements. In contrast to the focus of the fashion world in which Lang has been so immersed, his art is a metaphorical expression of the body’s relationship to the world rather than a direct demonstration of it.