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A new area of experience: Inside Martin Margiela’s Solo exhibition

At the Lafayette Anticipations, making his first solo exhibition as a full-fledged artist is Martin Margiela, which will be running at the year at Fondation enterprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris. The show presents in public for the first time, over twenty works which include installations, sculptures, collages, paintings, and films. It initiated on 20th October 2021 and will go on till 2nd January 2022 and has free entry. 

About Martin Margiela

Martin Margiela is a Belgian fashion designer who was immensely popular during the 1900s and 2000s and has now gained even more appreciated as an artist. In 2008, he had stepped down as the creative director of Maison Margiela – a French luxury fashion house founded by him in 1988 and headquartered in Paris. After his untimely departure from the Margiela label along which he had hosted many international exhibitions, he completely turned to visual arts. Continuing with the pioneering and unconventional aesthetic themes that he has previously shown in his fashion – in runway shows, forms, and materials – he has also pushed his art beyond its devolved boundaries. His bold experimentation is creating new zones in the artistic sphere.  

The Exhibition at Lafayette Anticipations

Disappearance and discretion are the themes prevalent throughout the exhibits. Most of the works were made in Foundation’s studio and explore the artist’s obsession with abstracts like anonymity, vulnerability, transformation, time, and anatomies like body parts, nails, and hair – which is also seen recurring as Margiela’s father was a hairdresser. The director of the gallery and the exhibition’s curator –  Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel in a release talks about how Margiela constantly pushes one to question their view of the world, the passage of time, chance, the secret, that are the themes that flourish his work and renews one’s perspectives.

He adds, “Against the current of dominant values, Martin Margiela and his work cultivates mystery, his obsession with disappearance, the discreet beings, of neglected objects, unnoticed places, and events. He elevates them to a new dignity”. 

The installations in the exhibit include looks that transform the everyday trivia into something surprising and wondrous, like the sculptures looking like a fluffy bus stop, human-sized fake nails leaning against a wall, and a giant image of deodorant with an artificial scent that covers almost a courtyard wall. The idea, he says is to give attention to things that are marginalized and deemed not worthy. This aims to celebrate the beauty of vulnerability and fragility. Like, in the series called Film Dust, Margiela has brought the focus on the tiny bits of dust that are found on Super-8 film and is something normally overlooked. The whole experience is compared as  ‘walking through Margiela’s brain’ by the president of Lafayette Anticipations, Guillaume Houze

The exhibition is Martin’s return to the spotlight and re-emphasizes oh his quality as an artist. A catalogue curated by Margiela himself in collaboration with designer Irma Boom is available for purchase which details the installation process of each art, including the making of the images, the research, and inspiration behind them. An additional interview with Martin Margiela himself, covering his life back to his childhood days outlines the thinking behind dedicating his life to art and exhibitions.

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