Exhibition from 20 Oct 2021 to 02 Jan 2022
6 months ago
For his first solo show, Lafayette Anticipations invites Martin Margiela to take possession of and transform every one of its spaces.
The show presents, for the first time in public, over twenty works: installations, sculptures, collages, paintings and films. It also puts forward a hypothesis: that Martin Margiela has always been an artist. Internationally renowned in the fashion world since the late 1980s, throughout his career as a designer, he deliberately upended the conventions of fashion one by one, through runway shows, materials and forms that became conceptual and aesthetic revolutions.
With bold conviction, he has pushed art beyond the boundaries usually devolved to it, constantly inventing new zones for experience by endlessly extending the limits of the work.
The exhibition at Lafayette Anticipations, which is designed as a total artwork, carries on Martin Margiela’s obsession with transformation. It is an exploration of existence. Turning habits upside-down, visitors enter through the emergency exit, then immerse themselves in a labyrinthine show where works appear and disappear at various vantage points along the way.
In a typically iconoclastic way, Martin Margiela has worked with multiple media. His references give equal value to a Caravaggio painting as a box of hair dye. Together, these borrowings form the portrait of an artist who has never stopped questioning how we see things and how we pay attention.
The works on show, most of which were made in the Foundation’s studio, return to the artist’s obsessions. The body is very much in evidence: anatomies inspired by the academic tradition; hair and skin in almost abstract form, signs of the passing of time. Disappearance is an omnipresent theme. Martin Margiela has never been afraid of absence or disappearance. He believes the life of an object or a being never ends, but is in constant mutation, renewing any number of times. The very idea of an end is pure fantasy; incompletion is a fundamental state.
Going against the tide of dominant values, Martin Margiela celebrates the beauty to be found in the vulnerable, the fragile and the fleeting. By refocusing our perspectives, he transforms the banal and the trivial into opportunities for discovery, wonderment and surprise.
Curator of the exhibition: Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel.
In partnership with Le Monde, Télérama, Trax, Konbini, Paris Première and Trois Couleurs.