ART / FASHION / TECHNOLOGY

Tobias Gremmler’s new exhibition shows fashion growing from human’s own resource — the skin

The Changing Room invites the visitor at Fotografiska in Stockholm into his own fictional world.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
December 03, 2021

The German visual artist tells how humans, in contrast to other animals, widely lost the capacity to create from own resources.

— This detaches the individual from the creation process and its immediate effect on the ecosystem. What became common to our society is an absolute exception in nature. Cause and effect are teared apart, geographical as well as temporal.

Gremmler’s new scenographic media exhibition, The Changing Room, brings the dynamic of theatre into Fotografiska.

— It’s like walking through a living scenario, a media scenography. I prefer this format as it breaks the linearity of theatre and creates a narrative that can be explored by each visitor with its individual temporal and spatial rhythm. The scenographic exhibition emphasizes this contrast by creating an imaginative eco-cycle, starting with the becoming of garment on human skin till its passing-away. The intimate connection between human and fashion during this journey shifts awareness to the relationship between garment and wearer. A relationship that deserves respect and responsibility for the worn fabrics and the resources they made of. This change in awareness might develop empathy towards the necessity of a balanced coexistence between human society and nature, he says.

— Entering The Changing Room is like walking straight into innovative architecture — where human bodies flow weightlessly through space in the process of creating their own ‘second skin’. We use holographic technology combined with digital full-wall projections which creates a room where everything becomes possible. Gremmler’s specially composed soundscapes enhance the feeling of a place outside of time and space where our guests have not been before, says Lisa Hydén, head of exhibitions at Fotografiska Stockholm.

What does the exhibition tell about the current state of the fashion industry?

— The exhibition does not show the current state of the fashion industry. It shows a fictional scenario that questions the current state. Like any other industry, the fashion industry has to change in order to keep this planet habitable for humans. The exhibition ignores the established conventions of the industry by restoring principles that sustained in nature much longer than human existed. It hopefully triggers a change of thinking in order to path the way for acting, says Gremmler.

As an addition to the exhibition, its partner H&M Foundation, together with Fotografiska, presents an inspiration room, The Future is Here, during the opening weekend, which will also be available to all parts of the world through a digital 3D installation from mid-December.

— It takes us further into the world of innovation and shows how our second skin — clothing — is transforming through the ground-breaking materials and technical solutions that are right now reinventing the fashion industry, says Elin Frendberg, executive director at Fotografiska Stockholm, adding,

— Both physically and, later, digitally, visitors can explore fabrics made of CO2, lab-grown cotton, algae dyes and textiles, leather made of wine leftovers, clothes of food crop waste, and the first machine that can recycle blend-material textiles at scale. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s actual science. These innovations exist and are already in use. The Future is Here conveys the mission we all share in viewing clothes as valuable resources and instils hope that a planet positive fashion future is within reach because of the power of innovation.

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