Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chanel Leaves New York Airspace

It's sunday, the last day of the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, done by Zaha Hadid.  the only way I was going to see this exhibit was to get myself up at 5 a.m. to stand in line by 7.  Instinct told me to get there even sooner than that, and it's a good thing I listen to myself: I was now alone, to say the least, at 6 a.m. when I got there.  
Amid the glory of Central Park's autumn palette, the construct sits demure and calm amid speakers that even at 6 a.m. were emitting sounds of white music. New Yorkers were already out, wondering what the line was for, and the Chanel boys were all in a row, giving instructions, help, and directions.  Chanel designed a lightweight jacket for the uniform of the outdoor crew, and a tshirt for the indoor crew.  I 'm told the jacets travel with the show, but I'll bet the tshirts show up on eBay.
Tickets are had by ascending a staircase, standing in line, and strolling across a leaf strewn courtyard to a module that mimics the mothership.  then, the ticketholder gets in the appropriate line and waits for 15 minutes until entry is permitted.  All very controlled, and regimented, but somehow not irritating.  The feeling is civilized, organized, and anticipatory.
Inside, the art installation is segmented, and you are given an MP3 player of your very own as a gude.  The voice is that of Jeanne Moreau, seductive and soothing,  in a poetic composition that manages your progress through the exhibit.
Art is sometimes disturbing, sometimes relative, sometimes boring.  Chanel Mobile Art curated it's content based on the questions "What is Chanel", using the 2.55 iconic quilted bag as a starting point for inspiration. It's never boring, but some of it will be your cup of tea, and some of it won't.  
The result is a changing body of work that allows perspective, meditation, and opinions to happen and grow on an individual platform.  As a collective stream of humanity, the flow through the Pavilion is only restricted in the time chosen for pacing.  As selective single voyeurs, the observers form their own point of view, free to see which corner of each space they choose . 
 As the art works are textural in inspiration, they use depth perception as fabric, layering their chosen medium and imagery . The floors and walls read textural, whether it be reflective mica, or 3-D tiled floral composition, the texture of Chanel streams in harmony with the modernist shapes, forms and divisions within the structure.
On to Moscow and London, landing in Paris, the module defines fashion as life, and will garner criticism, witticism and reaction at every stop on this trip.  
Fashion bridges boundaries as easily as architecture becomes art in our New World.  The concept of blurring these boundaries has always been a part of any artist's basic creative flow, but fashion has been fighting it's way onto the art front for decades.  
Let it's art, as well as fashion, given it's context.  

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