Gucci opens an exhibition in China exploring a fascinating concept
What does contemporary mean? According to Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, it's a merging of past and future - a notion best summed up by French theorist Roland Barthes, who believed that "The contemporary is the untimely". Now before you start getting flashbacks of your Arts degree cultural studies class, think about it in terms of the new Gucci. Expertly blending pieces of the past to create a new future a new direction for the brand - the old-world romanticism and retro eclectic styling of Gucci's last (amazing) couple of collections makes perfect sense.
Art and literature mad Michele was inspired by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben's book What is the Contemporary? and to explore this concept even further, he teamed up with LOVE magazine editor-in-chief Katie Grand to curate a special exhibition. Titled No Longer / Not Yet, Grand and Michele asked some of their favourite artists to contemplate the contemporary/untimely in a series of installations and artworks, which includes a personal work by none one than Alessandro Michele himself.
Hosted in Shanghai's Minsheng Art Museum, the exhibition is made up of a series of room featuring works by participating artists such as Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei, American sculptor Rachel Feinstein, American Neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, British photographer Glen Luchford, sound designers Steve Mackey and John Gosling (who have soundtracked each installation), British photographer Nigel Shafran, Chinese Op artist Li Shurui and British illustrator and artist Unskilled Worker.
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While details and images have been scarce up until now, curious onlookers can now score a glimpse of the highlights in the gallery above. We're imagining real-life viewers will be left asking questions instead of finding answers. After all, this is from a man whose careful appropriation of the past has led to a daring new era and aesthetic for the Gucci brand - one of the biggest and most recognisable fashion houses in the world.
No Longer/Not Yet opens this Friday, October 16 in Shanghai.