At first sight they resemble some kind of organic material. Coral perhaps, or bubbling mineral deposits. But these tubular sculptures currently exhibited by Helmut Lang have a more complex significance - they are all that remains of his personal professional archive as a fashion designer.
Lang, who retired from his eponymous Prada-owned label in January 2005 to live in Long Island and make art, has shredded 6,000 of his garments, using the metabolised scraps of fabric, fur, feathers, leather, plastic, hair and metal as raw materials for a series of sculptures entitled ’Make It Hard’.
The Austrian designer, who has already donated thousands of pieces to museums worldwide, destroyed more than 25 years worth of his collections to create the floor-to-ceiling column-shaped artefacts.
The 12 artworks will be on show from 22 July to 8 August at The Fireplace Project, in the Springs historic district of East Hampton, across the road from the house formerly owned by Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.
According to writer and creative director Neville Wakefield, who is presenting the exhibition, Lang’s sartorial oeuvre now takes the form of ’strangely beautiful excretions’, which erase the past and bear witness to ’the transience of our creative endeavours’.