Vibskov or Wagner

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Published January 12, 2009

Photo courtesy of Mu

 

Henrik Vibskov, noted for his dramatic silhouettes and bold use of color and pattern, has re-created the lavish sets of his past three runway presentations for Dutch gallery Mu. Spaces once traversed by models on the catwalk are now open for the public to explore: Exhibition-goers are free to meander through surreal fields littered with mysterious black carrot sculptures, an imaginary “Fantabulous Bicycle Music Factory,” and a psychedelic forest of disembodied boobs on sticks. Both the installations and the runway shows are part of a grander Vibskov gesamtkunstwerk: Explains the designer, “I don’t separate too much between my installations and collection. There are lots of cross-references, but they can exist separate from each other.”

In spite of the work’s dreamlike effect—a polka-dotted wall recalls Yayoi Kusama; organic blobs, Ernesto Neto; oversized produce, Alice in Wonderland or psychedelic drugs—Vibskov designs during the day, and doesn’t trace his work directly to Surrealist experiments in the unconscious. He underscores the work’s spatial quality: “I very much think three-dimensionally when it comes to sets for my shows. The setting should of course transport the mood, but it is very much a piece for itself. The set is a stage for the clothes so to speak.” And in spite of the environments’ somewhat esoteric look, Vibskov insists that the pieces are inspired by his everyday experience. Of the breasts-on-sticks, he says, “The sticks are part of the story behind the collection. There are these outlaws living in a forest, who become famous by playing music. The sticks are drumsticks and I play the drums myself. I simply use elements of my daily life, which makes the other question self-explanatory.”