Schinkel Pavillon: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, BLESS & Manuel Raeder

Costumes & Wishes for the 21st Century | Schinkel Pavillon | ©Andrea Rossetti

Bless, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Manuel Raeder show the result of their collaboration at Schinkel Pavillon: Costumes & Wishes for the 21st Century

Over the coming months, Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon will be taking inspiration from the theme of transformation. Their latest exhibition, Costumes & Wishes for the 21st Century, runs until the 22nd of January and will investigate the intersection of past and present, old and new, The I and The Other. Where better to introduce these topics than in a building that merges architectural elements from both classicism and modernism?

A collaboration between the fashion label Bless, the conceptual artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Design Studio Manuel Raeder, the exhibition is part of a series called Porzellan und Vulkan. Kollaborative Praxis.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s work is emotional and disconcerting, abstract and concrete all at once.  The French visual artist doesn’t believe in contemplation. Her “apparitions” demand active engagement from the audience instead of merely looking at the work at hand.

Upon entering the basement floor of the building, a shimmering tinsel curtain catches the eye immediately. A colorful octagon picks up on the geometric shape of the pavilion. Due to the mirrors installed on the ceiling, it turns out to be a perfect selfie location.

The first floor is all about real or fictional protagonists from the 19th and 20th century – from Lola Montez, Edgar Allan Poe, and Marilyn Monroe to Fitzcarraldo. Their costumes are elaborately draped across the entire room and thanks to Manuel Raeders’ clever curating, it almost seems as if they are floating through the exhibition space.

The absolute highlight: Sarah Bernhardt’s military suit, which is laid out so vividly on the red pedestal, it makes you feel like she’s going to rise from the dead right before your eyes. With its surreal design and the velvet carpeting, the setting seems like it’s taken straight out of a David Lynch movie.

Those with time this month should definitely use the opportunity to attend the “November Cosplay Sundays”. You’ll be able to leave your own wardrobe behind at a special cloakroom, try on the reinterpretations of the exhibited costumes, and cast off your old self to play another role. These “wearaways” to help you take on a new persona are custom made products created by Bless.

Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, the brains behind the German-French brand, are well-known for their conceptual, avant-garde approach to fashion. So it comes as no surprise that their latest collection, which goes by the name “No. 57 Daycation”, captures a similarly artistic spirit.

Aside from the aforementioned “wearaways”, a makeup artist by USLU Airlines as well as hair stylist Hiro will be on location for the coming two Sundays to top off the experience of authentic impersonation. Afterwards, head to the bar and take a sample of the new (#hangoverfree) Stauffenberg gin. With or without a drink, these sartorial conversions prove the transformative force of both art and fashion.

The exhibition Costumes & Wishes for the 21st Century by BLESS, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Manuel Raeder will be on show at Schinkel Pavillon until the 22nd of January 2017 . The upcoming “Cosplay Sunday” dates will take place on 13 and 20 November from 3 until 6pm.

After spending a gap year in Paris, Jessica Aimufua set her heart on Berlin, starting her art history and cultural studies undergrad in 2012. As a keen observer and critical thinker she developed an urge to express herself inventively at an early age. In both English and German she writes about contemporary culture and modern aesthetics, with a focus on film, fashion and art . At hey woman! she writes, edits and translates.