Monsters in Fashion
ARRRGH! The cry of surprise, fear and worry and also of inner concern, that tries to escape but fails to do so. It is the anger we keep within ourselves for our own lives, for the other – the other with whom we rightly want to communicate, however strange, however different, however much of a monster they may seem.
ARRRGH! is the first multi-dimensional hybrid project of Atopos cvc that has taken shape in the form of exhibitions, publications and performances. Based on an original idea by Vassilis Zidianakis, the ARRRGH! project was first conceived back in 2009 during Atopos’ research on character design in fashion and costume, which initially led to the NOT A TOY book.
The most distinctive facet of the project is the travelling exhibition ‘ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion’ which was first presented in the Benaki Museum, Athens in 2011. ARRRGH! has been the first international fashion exhibition of monstrous and radical creations, inspired by the phenomenon of ‘character design’. Participating designers and artists drew their inspiration from unrestrained fantasies fed by comics, video games or cartoons and created costumes that were first presented on the catwalk. Along with their costumes and works, a series of commissioned art pieces in the form of videos, sound installations and digital platforms or websites completed Atopos’ visualisation of the most iconic representation of character design in fashion and beyond.
A number of distinguished designers and artists including Walter van Beirendonck, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Issey Miyake/Dai Fujiwara, Bernhard Willhelm, Craig Green, Henrik Vibskov, thepersonwhodidthis, David Curtis-Ring, Boris Hoppek, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Nasir Mazhar, On Aura Tout Vu, Andrea Crews, Bart Hess, Charlie Le Mindu, Viktor & Rolf, and Maison Martin Margiela among others, have participated in the various stops of the ARRRGH! exhibition with their works and designs. Up to now the exhibition has traveled and has been showcased in Athens (2011, Benaki Museum), Paris (2013, La Gaîté Lyrique), Utrecht (2013, Centraal Museum), making Copenhagen (2014, Gallery int. Fashion Fair Cph) the most recent stop of its exciting and extraordinary journey.
As an aftereffect of its research Atopos cvc published the book Not a Toy: Fashioning Radical Characters (Pictoplasma Publishing, Berlin, 2011), the first comprehensive investigation into the growing influence of today’s character culture in fashion and the arts. This study formed the basis for the whole ARRRGH! project, a thorough look on how established and emerging fashion designers and artists redefine the relationship between body and clothing and the potential of the human figure by questioning our perception of beauty and ugliness.
Additionally, a zine series titled ‘Slaves to Atopos’ was published as part of the ARRRGH! research and was presented in parallel to the exhibitions, performances or events that related to the project. The series consists of collectable limited edition zines, containing original artwork of illustration, collage, photography, drawing and texts by various artists participating in the ARRRGH! project and the Slaves to Atopos zine series. The zines are published on the occasion of exhibitions and performances whereas collaborating artists to the project to date are HOPE, Clo’e Floirat, thepersonwhodidthis, the brainstorm design, George Tourlas, GPO crew, Myron Agios & Freeka Tet and Shoboshobo.
Another collateral artistic outcome of the ARRRGH! project is the Atopic Bodies, a long-term performance project exploring the uncanny, eccentric and unclassified character of the human body in contemporary visual culture. Through collaborations between designers and artists from different backgrounds, new and radical Characters were created by mixing visual and fashion codes. Atopic Bodies treats the body as an eternal atopos while collaborating artists up to now have been Craig Green, Charlie Le Mindu, Anklepants + George Tourlas, Alex Mattsson, Freeka and Shoboshobo.
Questioning what is monstrous and what is beautiful, what is repulsive and what is attractive, Atopos’ research constitutes a thorough and ongoing attempt to define and illustrate contemporary characters in fashion through a variety of media and projects.
- May 19 - 25 2015 Yeah !!! La Mode // Art Rock Festival
- Jan 29 - Jan 31 2014 ARRRGH! The End!
- Oct 19 2013 - Jan 19 2014 ARRRGH! @ Centraal Museum
- Oct 19 2013 Monsters Sound 2
- May 11 2013 Atopic Bodies X: Wasteland
- May 11 2013 Slaves to Atopos #11: HOPE
- Apr 07 2013 Haute Couture by Hidéki Séo
- Apr 07 2013 Mon Petit Chou #Clo’eFloirat // ARRRGH! SHOW OFF
- Apr 03 2013 Slaves to Atopos #10: Clo’e Floirat
- Mar 26 2013 ASVOFF // Special ARRRGH! screening
- Mar 23 & 24 2013 Dead bug style by Freeka Tet
- Mar 05 2013 Quand la mode transforme monstrueusement le corps by Pascal Monfort
- Mar 04 2013 Jean-Paul Lespagnard A/W 13
- Mar 02 2013 House of Moda teaser at ARRRGH! @ La Gaîté lyrique
- Feb 19 2013 Pandemonia in Paris
- Feb 19 2013 Slaves to Atopos #9: Thepersonwhodidthis
- Feb 18 2013 Dirt Foul and Booty
- Feb 18 2013 Monsters Video
- Feb 18 2013 Créature collective by Claire Michel
- Feb 17 2013 Monsters: back to front and inside out by Fréderique Daubal
- Feb 13 2013 Monsters Sound 1
- Feb 13 2013 Autoportrait à la Tronçonneuse
- Feb 10 2013 Souvenir
- Feb 10 2013 Slaves to Atopos #8: The Brainstorm Design
- Feb 04 2013 Caged
- Feb 13 - Apr 07 2013 ARRRGH! @ La Gaîté lyrique
- Dec 23 2012 Slaves to Atopos #7: George Tourlas
- Dec 14 2012 Mon Petit Chou #CraigGreen // ARRRGH! ID
- Nov 02 2011 Slaves to Atopos #5: GPO crew
- Oct 02 2011 Slaves to Atopos #4: The Brainstorm Design
- Jul 30 2011 Atopic Bodies VIII: The Voluptuous Panic Attackers
- Jul 17 2011 Jose Teunissen lecture
- Jul 09 2011 Atopic Bodies VII: The Gliptolithic Nation
- Jul 08 2011 Francesca Granata lecture
- Jun 26 2011 The Callasette Monster by the Callas
- Jun 25 2011 Beyond good and bad by the Brainstorm design
- Jun 19 2011 Myron Agios workshop
- Jun 18 2011 Atopic Bodies VI: The Monster’s Fiancée
- Jun 04 2011 GPO crew workshop
- Jun 01 2011 Slaves to Atopos #2: Freeka Tet and Myron Agios
- May 28 & 29 2011 Christina + Nefeli Sotiropoulou workshop
- May 21 & 22 / Jun 05 2011 Ivan Bazhenov workshops
- May 15 - Jul 31 2011 ARRRGH! @ the Benaki Museum
- May 14 2011 Atopic Bodies V: The Monsters’ Ball
- May 14 2011 Pandemonia in Athens
- May 12 – July 12 2011 Croquis de mode // Charlie Le Mindu // IFA
- May 06 2011 George Tourlas // ARRRGH! ID
- May 05 2011 NOT A TOY
- May 02 2011 ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion catalogue
- Apr 04 2011 Atopic Bodies IV: The Wicker Cult
- Jan 27 2011 Atopic Bodies III: The Leiotrichous Tribe
- May 13 - 16 2010 Atopic Bodies I: Mr & Mrs Myth