Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kiefer shift dress?

Okay, so this isn't a typical Art of the Day. I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Life without buildings and was somewhat fascinated by an aspect of the post. The blogger, Jimmy Stamp, as designer was asked to propose a building for the contemporary art museum of GAP founder, Don Fisher (who has an incredible collection of modern and contemporary art). As an alternative to design of the building he considered using the founder's collection in GAP clothing. This of course brings up all kinds of discussion but what struck me is the dress on left hand side. I don't know how many people would recognize the image on first glance, but I am nearly positive that it is an Anselm Kiefer painting. One couldn't make much stink about putting Warhol's pop images on clothing, but Kiefer is a different story. For me, it isn't an issue about reproduction or authenticity but of the stark contrast between the work that Kiefer does and the commodity of a dress.

The original painting (in the upper right, titled I think "innenraum" (interior space) "its image derived from a postwar photograph of Albert Speer's Reich Chancellery in Berlin: the cavernous, skylit, ineffably racy "mosaic hall" where Hitler would meet around a map table with his military staff, making plans. "(Peter Schjeldahl-Artforum)

While the cropped image alone (in an attempt to ignore its source) makes for a pretty unique garment, I am a little bit disturbed. I am jumping off of a pretty good thought by Jimmy Stamp and taking it farther than he most likely intended but I thought it was an interesting thing to bring up. The commoditization of art has existed for a while now, and I am not against it in general but these specifics surely turned me in another direction. Let me know if you have any thoughts and I'll get back to focusing on art and aesthetic tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jimmy Stamp said...

Great post. And nice job identifying the Kiefer. The Warhol makes sense as a garment of course, but in a flight of somewhat twisted fancy, I chose the Kiefer image for the exact reason you found it somewhat disturbing.

To me, there's something absurd about it and I can't really explain why I like the idea. Although no where near as powerful a statement, I think it strikes me as something akin to Charlie Chaplin's satirical portrayal of Hitler dancing ballet with his infamous globe.

Oh, and as a Toledo native, it's great to see a link to the TMA on your site. If it weren't for my local museum, I don't think I'd be in the arts/architecture at all.