Gianni Versace Retrospective
Curational Statement
March 08, 2021

Dedicated to viewers, visitors, users, enthusiasts and experts. The curational statement will (help to) guide the way the public perceives the “Gianni Versace Retrospective” exhibition.

 

PREMISE

We share Jan Mukarovsky’s view that the work of art is not clearly characterized by a certain style, but by the “social context” to which it is directed (Jan Mukarovsky, Chapter from Aesthetics, Frankfurt / Main 1970, p.16). We see in the Gianni Versace fashion on display, the attribute is primarily the aesthetic artefact that confronts the visitor with the aura of the original.

Due to the type of staging, we offer both an emotional and a systematic approach to the topic. The selection of the exhibited artefacts gives an insight into and an overview of Gianni Versace’s work and is therefore a retrospective. Gianni Versace’s work is understandable both in its cultural character and in its chronological development.

The Versace brand and the fashion designer Gianni Versace are one of the most famous brands worldwide. On the one hand, this fact increases the attractiveness of the exhibition of his original works, but in the presentation it also requires the correction of the various prejudices about himself and his work.

The exhibition leads back to himself through authentic artefacts and only includes objects that were created until his death in 1997.

 

WORKING IN THE NETWORK

Working with collectors of Gianni Versace’s artefacts has provided a first overview of privately available originals in recent years. We see these efforts as first steps in preserving his work for posterity and making it accessible.

The preparation of exhibitions takes place in close communication with former companions of Gianni Versace, so that thematically focused emphases are defined as authentically as possible and can be incorporated into the selection of the artefacts to be exhibited. Just as Gianni Versace worked in a close community of family, friends, employees and business partners, we see ourselves as a continuation of this communicative working style.

We gradually became active members of this community. Gianni Versace was active across genres: in addition to various fashion lines, he designed interior design, worked for the stage, published books and cooperated closely with visual artists, photographers, choreographers and musicians. The results of these collaborations and wide-ranging interests flow into the exhibitions in order to illustrate Gianni Versace’s idea of the total-work-of-art. Gianni Versace was rooted in Italy. His work is largely based on the high standard of Italian craftsmanship. A not insignificant part of his creative work came about through exchanges with partners and companies outside of Italy, making his work a European cultural project during his lifetime, which also gained its relevance from this internationality and continues to do so today.

 

A MULTI-SENSUAL EXHIBITION

Gianni Versace presented his fashion in art museums very early on. He saw himself as an artist. The designs of European art history were very often the starting point of his work. He deliberately placed his works in this continuity.

We follow this path with our exhibition approach. Our productions consciously aim at an emotional, not just descriptive approach to his work. In this spirit, our exhibitions are multi-sensual experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in his world. The visitor is supposed to sink from the unrest of everyday life into a complex contemplation, to get a holistic picture of Gianni Versace’s life and work. We see this form of contemplative, multi-sensual staging as a conscious counterpoint to an everyday culture based on extroverted experiences. The tendency of the exhibition to be magical is the disruptive, emotional element for visitors.

With the abolition of his prejudices about Gianni Versace, the visitor leaves the exhibition in the triple Hegelian sense: he leaves the prejudices behind; he maintains his affinity for him and his works and he deepens his knowledge of Gianni Versace and his work emotionally and intellectually (G.W.F. Hegel, Die Wissenschaft der Logik, Hamburg 1975, part 1).

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