“Looking for a future with a positive, vibrant energy.”
This is how Rei Kawakubo described her Comme des Garçons Spring/Summer collection to Amy Spindler of The New York Times in 1995, although the designer could just as well have been talking about Paris at that exact moment.
*95 (IN PARIS, THE OUTSIDERS ARE OFFICIALLY IN) is an exhibition by Marc Hundley, Ian Hundley and Nick Relph loosely based on their shared experience of the Comme show in Paris in 1995.
Curators Robert Milne and Sinisa Mackovic (together known as Rainoff) selected works in which the artists attend to this common history. According to Sinisa, Comme des Garçons is less the subject of the exhibition than an adhesive holding it all together.
A work from Nick Relph involving a Comme shirt is not rooted in the brand or even the shirt, but in a study of color etymology. Plaid, if you will, is the intersection of individual colors with history and a particular significance. Similarly, the works in the show form a complete picture that transcends one time or one place.
“Timeless” is, unfortunately, a word that has come to belong almost exclusively to a vocabulary of design, yet it is the word that best fits the works in *95. In documenting and re-presenting that particular time and that particular place, the artists have brought what was and what could have been into what is and what might still be.
*95 (IN PARIS, THE OUTSIDERS ARE OFFICIALLY IN) runs from March 7– March 31 at Neon Parc. 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne.
All images by Nick Relph and courtesy Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York. (Above left) Talking to the Main Road Slowly, 2010. Color Photograph. 43 1/2 x 33 1/4 inches. Edition of 10. (Above right) Vneck Rasclatt Jumper Cashmere Ting Cardigan. Collage. 29 x 22 1/2 inches. (Bottom left) Money Ar Go Runn For Ears with No U, 2010. Collage. 20 x 18 inches. (Bottom right) Comme des Garçons Spring/Summer 1995.