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Gucci muses on definition of contemporary at Shanghai art exhibit

October 9, 2015

Gucci fall/winter 2015 campaign Gucci fall/winter 2015 campaign


Italy’s Gucci has drawn inspiration from contemporary philosophers for its recent collaboration with LOVE magazine.

The collaboration takes the shape of an exhibit within the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, where Gucci will explore the concept of the contemporary and the untimely. Gucci’s exhibit builds upon creative director Alessandro Michele’s exploratory challenge to those in attendance during the house’s fall/winter 2015-16 presentation.

Contemporary philosophies
Since Mr. Michele took control of the house, Gucci has opened a “creative debate” over the definition of contemporary. To Mr. Michele, contemporary is “a state of temporal flux, where relics of the past merge with signs of the future, and where there is freedom to construct new meanings at this intersection of divergent paths.”

This ideology is reflected in the both the men and women’s collections for fall/winter 2015-16. The pieces in the collection celebrate the idea of tracing what is present and what the future may hold.

Mr. Michele found inspiration in the following quote from Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben: “Those who are truly contemporary, who truly belong to their time, are those who neither perfectly coincide with it nor adjust themselves to its demands. They are thus in this sense irrelevant. But precisely because of this condition, precisely through this disconnection and this anachronism, they are more capable than others of perceiving and grasping their own time. Naturally, this non-coincidence, this ‘dys-chrony,’ does not mean that the contemporary is a person who lives in another time…”

Gucci.No Longer:Not Yet

Gucci's No Longer/Not Yet exhibit at the Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai

For the exhibit, opening Oct. 16, Mr. Michele worked with Katie Grand, editor in chief of LOVE magazine, to curate the “No Longer/Not Yet” exhibit. The works of international artists have been invited to contemplate the concept of contemporary and untimely for the exhibit and will be shown in a number of rooms alongside Mr. Michele’s own art.

Participants include: Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei; American sculptor Rachel Reinstein; American neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer; British photographer Glen Luchford; British musician and record producer Steve Mackey, who created an exclusive soundtrack for each installation; British photographer Nigel Shafran; Chinese Op artist Li Shurui and British illustrator and artist Unskilled Worker.

Similarly, Chinese department store Lane Crawford’s “Visions of a New Generation” exhibit stems from the retailer’s history of bringing influential names and brands to the Chinese consumer through its stores, an essential practice for labels entering a new market.

For the exhibit, Lane Crawford is displaying pieces created by emerging talents from Greater China, whom Lane Crawford feels may “define creativity globally for the next 165 years.” Each piece, which uses Swarovski crystals as a medium, represents that creative’s exploration of fashion, art and lifestyle using traditional crafts, material and culture as inspiration (see story).