At MUDE and MACE, the exhibition Abaixo as Fronteiras! Vivam o Design e as Artes challenges the hierarchies and reflects on the intersections between design and art.
The exhibit explores the links between design and art in a broad sense, trying to understand what defines the frontiers of two disciplines, and possibly proposing to overcome these boundaries in order to get a richer picture of the connections between two fields so intertwined. This reflection becomes material in the display, which presents objects that stand on the blurred line that divides the disciplines. Drawing from the wide collection of the museum archive, the exhibition puts on stage a dialogue, where the object themselves serve as the main actors.
The role of fashion in this dialogue is, at the same time, complex and essential; fashion itself can be considered a case study to understand the fluidity of the relationship between function and contemplation, innovation and craftsmanship, reproducibility and uniqueness. For this reason, the exhibition features designs by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Ana Salazar, Azzedine Alaïa, Christian Lacroix, Comme des Garçons, Dirk van Saene, Dries van Noten, Gianni Versace, Issey Miyake, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Maison Martin Margiela, Vivienne Westwood and Walter Van Beirendonck alongside other names from the industrial design, architecture and art scenes.
In presenting different styles, chronologies and angles, the exhibition asserts the role of fashion as catalyst in the comprehension of the contemporary value of the concepts of ‘design’ and ‘art’ and, above all, in the interdisciplinarity of the two. The Lisbon display focuses on creators and authors, and fashion designers have historically been pioneers in questioning any static definition and giving material shape to ideas concerning the encounter of personal feelings, the body and the environment.
The exhibition serves also as a reflection on the value of collecting fashion; the destitution of the hierarchy between fine and applied art underlines the value of fashion objects as storytellers, whether they are unforgettable icons of an era, or material memories of everyday and mundane experiences. Fashion in fundamental in museum collections because of its social value, and clothes and accessories are a tangible document of the historical changes in attitudes, tastes and opinions.
Discover more about the exhibition on MUDE Website and explore the MUDE Fashion collection on the Europeana Fashion Portal.