Everyday art form

Röcke tragen (2000) - Andrea Lumplecker

What clothes shall I put on this morning? What do I want to look like? Serious? Creative? Is today the day to show off my newest purchase?

If you have ever asked yourself these kind of questions, Salzburg in the west of Austria is the place to visit this spring. Not only will you see the interesting exhibition “Wearing Skits” but also you will see the charming small town of Salzburg and the beautiful landscape around it.

Museum der Moderne (Museum of Modern Art)in Salzburg shows photographs and plastics related to how the wardrobe has changed since women emancipated themselves and have started to wear trousers. That is why the exhibition carries the title “Wearing skirts” (Röcke tragen).  The German-speaking artists are addressing several controversies, such as group affiliation, turning oneself into an object of lustfulness and how the way from childhood to adulthood is expressed in one’s dressing style.

Clothes are telling much more about their wears than the wearer thinks. Sporting brands, socks with holes, the latest fashion items or hardly wearing any clothes, let the spectator put the wearer in a specific drawer, just to mention some: rich, poor, I-don’t-give-a-shit, wannabe, perfectionist, voguish and trampy.

These days more and more museums integrate clothes which represent a particular era and life style. In Versailles an entire small pavilion next to Marie Antoinette’s little castle is dedicated to fashion from those days. The dresses by living fashion designers such as by Karl Lagerfeld and others look exactly like the pompous renaissance dresses.

Does not everyone conside them as très belles but also très compliquè to put on? The question “Why do we spend so much time on deciding which clothes we want to put on and why do we spend so much money to buy them?” is nothing new.
Even before the era of rebirth clothing has played an important role in everyday life. But since the French renaissance, it has become commonplace for many women to not eat too much so as to still fit in the skintight corsets. They have always been largely criticized by men,  other women but mainly by themselves for their dressing size. Whether too skinny or too fat, nothing is “suitable”.

But men? For them it has never mattered how big their potbelly was (especially as long as they were powerful and rich).

My question for you for today is, have people’s attitudes towards dressing and clothes changed in anyway?

If you want to find out more about the exhibition in Salzburg:
MdM Mönchsberg
18.2.2012 – 10.6.2012

If you are planning to visit it:


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