Well Hung

Installation 

2014

Los Angeles

“The pews were not moved. But the cross was covered over and a catwalk set up in the center aisle. It took eight days for the heater fans to drive the cold out of the church. The girls waited in the sacristy and on the organ loft for their cue. And Luca Gadjus, the model who lives just around the corner, opened a fashion show that was an iconoclastic act and at the same time a profession of faith.”  This is how fashion journalist Alfons Kaiser began his article “Jesus must love Michalsky,” on the Fall/Winter 2009 fashion show featuring creations by Michael Michalsky, held in a Protestant church on January 30, 2009.1

Michalsky adopts the space of worship in affirming the liminality between the viewing of fashion and liturgic ritual. Within the installation, such liminality is only hinted. In place of appropriating a space of worship to achieve a total (sacral) ambiance, the project configures the clothing rack to stage occurrences that slip in and out of divine reverence. The project posits the rack as an inverted pedestal that elevates an uncanny array of adorned mannequins to the effect of displacing the gaze of the viewing subject. This displacement fittingly expels the fashion object from a space of commodification to one of reflection, disturbing the stable view around how fashion is received.

1   Kuhl, Alicia (2014b): Framing Saints and Sinners. Methods of Producing Space in Fashion            Shows: Michalsky’s F/W 2009. In: Elka Gaugele (Ed.): Aesthetic Politics in Fashion. Berlin:            Sternberg Press, S. 112-129.

Runway image:
Christian Dior, Fall 2000 Couture. dé Nast Archiv