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Ines Doujak transforms LENTOS Kunstmuseum into a fashion store
Ines Doujak, exhibition view 'Masterless Voices', Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Krakow, 2017. Photo: Studio FilmLOVE.

LINZ.- The Large Hall of the LENTOS has been transformed into a fashion store! The Austrian artist Ines Doujak presents her highly unusual fashion collections. The exhibition space mutates temporarily into a changing room: visitors are welcome to touch, try on and take pictures.

Citing and at the same time calling into question the glamour of the fashion world, Doujak’s works are characterized both by their determined criticism and their beauty. The artist brings into play the exploitative structures and the gender and class order hardwired into haute couture and the garment industry and deliberately blurs the demarcation line separating fashion statement and art.

Ines Doujak reckons with the intrinsic power of images in developing her own compelling formal language. In doing so, she combines elements of collage with historical and political research, as the exhibition’s curator, LENTOS director Hemma Schmutz, points out.

The exhibition "Ines Doujak. SALE "offers art to touch and try on. The LENTOS becomes a place where visitors can experience works of art in the truest sense of the word. Anyone who has the curiosity and the courage to try things out, expects an exhibition experience outside the norm, says Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, cultural councilor of the city of Linz, enthusiastic about the concept.

The focus is on textile workers burnt to death in their factories, on total exhaustion as the lot of men and women in the low-wage sector, on dirty secrets, animal and human skins, Carnival and masquerade, drugs, war and the devil himself. Motifs and themes are directly inscribed on the textiles as carrier material. Fabrics, patterns, garments and accessories as well as texts, publications, objects, videos, dance interludes and pieces of music deal with the links between fashion, colonialism and globalized relations of production.

The show at the LENTOS lays claim to a great deal of the museum’s available space, from the foyer and the stairwell to the Great Hall on the upper floor. It comprises altogether seven collections, dating to the years 2012 to 2018, that address the dark side of the fashion industry. The exhibition’s opening day will see the video work A Mask Is Always Active (part of the Carneval collection) projected on to the museum’s façade.

The exhibition is based on Loomshuttles / Warpaths, an artistic-scientific research project that has already been going on for many years. The project includes Doujak’s “eccentric archive“, which traces the history of globalisation on the evidence of textiles from the region of the Andes. For this purpose, the archive also enlists the service of an open-ended series of posters, sculptures, performances and texts, which is very much a work in continual progress. Having initially committed herself to the analysis, handling and processing of existing materials, Ines Doujak then proceeded to developing her own materials and having garments fashioned from them. Parts of this steadily evolving fashion collection were already on display in the exhibition Not Dressed for Conquering at Stuttgart’s Württembergischer Kunstverein and in Masterless Voices at the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Kracow.

The exhibition at the LENTOS is accompanied by the publication of Loomshuttles, Warpaths. An Eccentric Archive 2010–2018, with texts in English by Ines Doujak and John Barker, produced in collaboration with the Württembergischer Kunstverein.

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