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dignity for all employees? Are consumers able to think differently about the social and practical meaning of fashion? Can change take place based on established economic systems and ideas about capitalism, growth and linear resource utilisation? Is the only solution to stop producing textiles and clothing industrially? How should that take place? And what would the consequences be?

In the exhibition Don’t Feed the Monster! 12 designers and artists study these questions through visual narrative, design, activism, technology and an exploration of cultural history. British photographer Tim Mitchell presents two bodies of photographic artwork, intertwined in an installation highlighting the enormous contrast between two different worlds. Photographs from Welcome to Fashion Week (2002–5) flash constantly across screens at both ends of the narrow room, giving a sense of something that is forever changing. The Clothing Recycled (2004–5) series is represented by one solitary image on the wall, printed on recycled paper using a printer specialising in low carbon emissions. The image features women in a textile-recycling factory in Panipat, India. One of the women looks up from her work and straight into the camera. Clothing Recycled was made in cooperation with anthropologist Lucy Norris, exploring questions such as what a sustainable, ethical model of production might look like. The two series come together in the book Product (2019), which is also presented in

Installation view of the book Product by Tim Mitchell

Photo: Vegard Kleven. Courtesy of the artist © Tim Mitchell / Galleri F 15

the exhibition, and as they meet it becomes clear that fashion week in Milan and Paris and textile recycling in Panipat are two ends of the same story.

Another designer who deals with questions of sustainability in production through a hands-on approach is Norwegian Siri Johansen, who is head of knitwear for Kenzo in Paris. In this exhibition she presents her independent Waste Yarn Project (WYP). WYP collects waste yarn from knitwear factories in Shanghai, China, recognising that it doesn’t need to be wasted. The yarn is then knitted into unique sweaters dependent on chance and individual choices made by factory workers. The products are playful, colourful and sustainable. In the exhibition they are exhibited alongside a video presenting the project, fabric samples, and de-contextualised pieces of the production process, such as the wheel of fortune that makes up a small part of the comprehensive formula on which each design relies.

Don’t Feed the Monster! links contemporary art and clothing design. It aims to create a shared space for criticism of the paradigm of the textile and fashion industry, linear production, poorly paid labour, continuous new collections and constant economic growth.

Maria C. Havstam and Franz P. Schmidt are curators of the exhibition Don’t Feed the Monster!, which runs until 22 January 2020 at Galleri F 15, Moss, Norway.

Issue 318

Resurgence & Ecologist


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