16th April - 6th June 1999
Künstlerhaus und Loos-Haus Wien
Ulrike Tschabitzer, Christian Muhr (Liquid Frontiers)
Fast Forward is a fashion exhibition which largely abstains from treating items of clothing as exhibits. Instead, it addresses the role of fashion as a motor of visual culture and, hence, both the dominance of fashion in the media in the 1990s and the variety of ways in which it was presented.
Less interested in fashion per se, the exhibition prefers to focus on, firstly, the ideas and experiments which are developed in the name of fashion or emerge as a result of its suggestive power and, secondly, the communication of these ideas to a mass audience. In the place of clothes, Fast Forward exhibits examples of the use of fashion in such media as film, video, photography, illustration, animation or architecture as a means of addressing the new forms of collaboration between fashion designers and practitioners of other creative disciplines.
Occupying around 2,000 square meters on two levels of Vienna’s Künstlerhaus, the main body of the exhibition very directly questions the widespread hypothesis of the special importance of contemporary art for visual culture. Rich in examples, this is a new form of fashion exhibition which seeks to demonstrate the extent to which formal innovation and relevant content are, far from being matters exclusive to contemporary art, equally applicable to the world of haute couture. But this is not to say, however, that Fast Forward is merely another exhibition which falsely understands fashion to be art or, even worse, seeks to raise fashion to the level of art.
The second, smaller part of the exhibition approaches the subject from a more traditional perspective in particularly appropriate surroundings. The former workshops of the tailors Goldmann & Salatsch in Adolf Loos’ famous building on the Michaelerplatz form an ideal setting for a selection of pieces from Issey Miyake’s special “Pleats Please” collection. Presenting the first results of the collaboration between the Japanese fashion designer and a number of international artists, this intimate salon exhibition fully avoids the risk of stylizing the clothes to the level of conventional works of art.