Atelier E.B Jasperwear collection, 2018.
This autumn, the Serpentine presents Passer-by, a new exhibition by Atelier E.B, the collaborative fashion label by designer Beca Lipscombe and artist Lucy McKenzie.
Taking the figure of the mannequin as its central theme, the exhibition will transform the Gallery into three distinct interiors: a bespoke showroom for Atelier E.B’s latest collection, in which visitors will be able to try on and order clothes; a display of historic material, photography and objects, and a series of newly-commissioned works by contemporary artists including Tauba Auerbach, Anna Blessmann, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Steff Norwood, Elizabeth Radcliffe, Bernie Reid and Markus Selg. Along with collaborations with artists Markus Proschek, Josephine Pryde and Calum Stirling and photographer Zoë Ghertner, the show features the work of more than 30 makers spanning fashion, sculpture, painting, graphic and commercial design, photography, craft and film. Passer-by will be a hybrid dreamscape - part World Fair pavilion, part retail emporium – and will explore the future of retail display in the digital age.
Atelier E.B creates fashion collections, commissioned displays and interiors, as well as textiles, live events and publications. At the Serpentine, Lipscombe and McKenzie will explore the relationships between art, design, commerce and display. Mannequins are part of the rich history of display in consumer culture and for this exhibition Atelier E.B has extensively researched their roles in the World Fairs and Expositions of the twentieth century through to iconic department stores, ethnographic museums and fashion retail under Communism.
The Serpentine exhibition will explore this research through Atelier E.B’s selection of historic sculptures, photographs and objects, including works by mannequin-maker Adel Rootstein, sculptor Rudolf Belling, artist Fred Wilson and fashion photographer Pasquale De Antonis among many others. These interests extend to the history of window dressing and its expert 'trimmers’, including Gene Moore, Natasha Kroll and Michael Haynes, whose relationship with cultural institutions created a template for exhibiting contemporary fashion that is enjoyed by the wider public today.
(Photograph courtesy of Zoë Ghertner.)