MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

HELMUT LANG: YOBWOC

2023.02.14

Helmut Lang for the Fall Winter 23 collection creates an exhibition focused on the word “cowboy,” inviting seven artists to explore the meaning in depth to create a broader and more conscious image of the cowboy figure.

For the Fall-Winter 2023 collection, Helmut Lang explores the workwear: shearling, wool, micropaillettes, tulle, and ripped leather are covered with small details in the form of metal spikes, rivets, articulated sleeves, and bangs. The exploration of work uniforms in all its possibilities is stocked by an understanding of ‘UTILITY. CIVILITY. DEVIANCE.”: three core principles for the brand, evident in its identity and the way it communicates. They are pillars that live together, creating a play of balance, tension and excitement typical of Helmut Lang. The designer draws from his archive by bringing back to the runway the iconic word “COWBOY,” first seen printed inside out on a white cotton T-shirt in the Spring 2004 collection. The word was subverted, shown upside down, and the t-shirt was combined with a traditional tailored suit. The theme was present throughout the collection in tailored garments adorned with chaps details, pointed leather shoes that resembled the classic boots, and belts with oversize buckles. The famous t-shirt is the starting point of the Winter collection, but also of the exhibition realized for the occasion and curated by Antwaun Sargent. The latter explores the complexity of the American icon, inviting seven artists to consider the concept of the cowboy with a broader meaning of identity, evaluating different points of view and new cultural awareness. The artists, including Turiya Adkins, American Artist, Awol Erizku, Devi B. Johnson, Justen Leroy, Daniel Obasi and Quay Quinn Wolf, after two decades since the first appearance of the famous upside-down writing, show their ideas and considerations through the use of sound, sculpture, painting and photography.

Helmut lang fw23.

“I can not think of the world COWBOY and not think of social notions of masculinity, but, I also think of community.”

– Quay Quinn Wolf

Helmut lang fw23.

As Sargent specifies, the purpose of the exhibition is not to represent the idea of the cowboy, but to analyze and explore it within a more conscious and complex context, considering the historical and contemporary value of a real cultural icon. The exhibition, which takes the name of “YOBWOC” cowboy inside out, highlights different themes: material realities and beauty, the broadening of awareness toward the expansion of the West and migration, the imagining of spiritual and narrative forces surrounding the cowboy figure, and the deconstruction of the rhetorics of masculinity, community and desire. Turiya Adkins makes abstract paintings focused on the significance of West American cowboys figures involved in migration, creating patterns that help her imagine what the Great Migration might have looked like. Quay Quinn Wolf, on the other hand, reflecting on the word, thinks about the body and the effort, the sweat and grime imprinted on the saddle: the artist cannot separate the figure of the cowboy from the common image of the masculine man on horseback, but strives to imagine him within a community. With his sculpture, he weaves and sews together strips of black leather to create a minimal quilt, echoing some of the techniques that are prominent in the next season’s collection. Daniel Obasi shows his interpretation through photography, while Justen Leroy uses music to explore his vision in depth. Helmut Lang thank to the exhibition emphasizes how thinking about cowboy everyone comes to think of the same image, not considering the concept in its entirety: contrary to popular belief, there are still many communities that continue to live today in cities like New York or Philadelphia. The exhibition discover all-round new perspectives and contemporary viewpoints that allow the viewer to reflect on the meaning of the word in a broad artistic context. When you read the word ‘cowboy’, what do you think of?

Awol Erizku t-shirt design.
MOMENTS OF YOUTH BY DANIEL OBASI.
Awol Erizku t-shirt design.
Justen Leroy installation.
Turiya Adkins installation.
WOMEN!

2024.04.12

WOMEN, Pirate Edition! 女性 is the fanzine version of the original volume dedicated to the work of Nadia Lee Cohen, a photographer of dreamlike, saturated, and surreal landscapes that capture the visceral pleasures and terrors of the urban environment.

PRESERVATION

2024.04.11

Preservation is the new exhibition curated by Paige Silveira and Paul Hameleine, French model and curator. The collective show includes works by renowned artists and emerging talents such as Alyssa Kazew, Gaspar Willmann, Ladji Diaby, Ron Baker, and Wolfgang Laubersheimer.

CULTURE

FASHION EYE

2024.04.09

In the new Fashion Eye: United Kingdom curated by Louis Vuitton, Martin Parr captures the four corners of Great Britain from 1998 to today. Through exclusive images, the project plays on an unexpected juxtaposition between the Glastonbury festival and the coronation of King Charles.

NEWS

AN INVITATION TO DREAM

2024.04.08

From April 15th to 21st, the black and white lithographic prints by Jack Davison will transform the spaces of Milan Central Station into an interactive dialogue, capable of lasting even after the departure of its spectators.

NEWS

Eight Seconds.
Black Rodeo Culture

2024.04.05

The new photobook by Ivan McClellan is a glorious tribute to contemporary Black rodeo culture across America, and tells the story of a community that through sport and love for their land bridges the past, present, and future.