Doug Aitken creates reflective artwork for Saint Laurent in Venice

Doug Aitken creates reflective artwork for Saint Laurent in Venice

For the Saint Laurent S/S 2022 show, the brand’s first physical catwalk presentation since the Covid-19 pandemic began, American artist Doug Aitken created the living artwork Green Lens, on Venice’s Isola della Certosa

At the inaugural 2017 Desert X biennal in the Coachella Valley, American artist Doug Aitken created the land art installation Mirage, a mirrored house reflecting its arid, shrub-lined environment on its fractured façade. The structure was designed to act as a visual echo-chamber, informed by the architectural philosophies of Frank Lloyd Wright, who believed architecture should exist inside and outside of the landscape.

Last night in Venice, a stream of Saint Laurent models weaved around another futuristic Aitken structure, situated like a shining spaceship among the lush plants and trees of Isola della Certosa. Titled Green Lens, the mirrored living artwork was commissioned by the Parisian maison and formed the breathtaking backdrop to its S/S 2022 menswear show, the first physical catwalk presentation held by the brand since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Models walks through Venice lagoon for Saint Laurent S/S 2022 show

Green Lens is a living artwork. It is simultaneously an artwork, installation and stage. It’s like a lighthouse that one can journey to and have a very personal experience, while it also transmits light, ideas and questions. A focal point that allows all of us to share our ideas and visions for the future post Covid... a celebration and inquiry into the future,’ Aitken explains of the intention behind the artwork, which is on view to the public throughout July, and will be the location of thought-provoking performances and coversations.

Saint Laurent artistic director Anthony Vaccarello also offered visual inquiries into the future, creating a collection that interwove reflective elements from the past, like billowing Victorian capes, Glam Rock vertiginous platform boots, New Romantic frilled blousons and tailored jacquard trousers, and punky denim gilets. Like Aitken’s sculpture, which emphasised mankind’s present moment, situated somewhere in trepidatious time between the start and end of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Saint Laurent S/S 2022 collection riffed on genres through time to posit clothing for the present.

‘From the exterior [Green Lens] creates a choreography of changing reflections of clouds, mist and wild green vegetation. As day turns to night it glows and becomes a kinetic light sculpture and sound composition,’ Aitken adds. §


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