Sunglasses worn defiantly despite persistent rain – there was no shortage of style during the Fotografiska Days on Oberlandstrasse. From March 23rd to 25th, the Atelier Gardens hosted the Cultural Fabric exhibition of the renowned Swedish photography museum Fotografiska: an event that drew quite a crowd to the industrial zone south of Tempelhofer Feld.
Once through the gate, past the Atelier Gardens office buildings and straight ahead to the large hall labeled TON 1. The excitement in the air is palpable as visitors chatter and peer curiously into the hall behind the entrance control.

A colorful program

Over the course of three days, a series of events delved into the themes of art and fashion and their unquestionable correlation. Alongside an exhibition showcasing the works of nine internationally acclaimed artists, the program also included panel discussions, film projections, a ballroom showcase by So Extra Berlin followed by a joyfull closing party.

Fotografiska Days – Cultural Fabric’s goal was to explore the connection between the worlds of fashion and art. During the Fotografiska Days, the focus was on the question of how social integrity and artistic independence can co-exist.

Art, fashion or political statement?

The transition between art, fashion and activism is often fluid and up to interpretation. At least that’s what artist Šejla Kamerić expressed: “My work is a direct reaction to my environmental concerns.” The Bosnian artist used clothing shipped from Western Europe to the East imprinted with the slogan “The Party is Over” as a social commentary and criticism on our era of fast fashion and careless consumption.
The exhibition also tackled questions relating to cultural belonging and identity. One such example was Mous Lamrabat’s photographs in which people can be seen wearing traditional Muslim-influenced clothing like djellabas. Often only discernible at a second glance, the logos of Western capitalism are splayed across garments: a Nike swoosh here, a McDonald’s “M” there, and even a nod to SpongeBob SquarePants. As artist Jojo Gronostay sees it, “similar to fabric, culture is something interwoven.”

Fashion as a form of art is often overlooked, trivialized or met with contempt. However, the topic was received with open eyes and ears by the Berlin public. In the packed Atelier Gardens canteen, in front of the artworks, during the Q&A sessions, or even during a cigarette break in front of TON 1, there was lively discussion everywhere. Questions and impressions were exchanged in a buzzing manner. An obvious success for the collaboration between Fotografiska and Atelier Gardens!

Find out more about Fotografiska Berlin.

"Similar to fabric, culture is something interwoven."

Jojo Gronostay

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