About the exhibition
Adressing Fast Fashion, it's ripple effects around the globe and our involvement.
For the main work "Modern Ophelia" I have taken the famous work "Ophelia" by John Everett Millais as my foundation. Made the landscape into a mess of clothing with the same colour scheme and replaced the white Ophelia with a girl from South East Asia.
I've always loved Millais' work. But it shows a tragic and ugly thing, a suicide of a girl gone mad, in a beautiful romantic way. And yet I am just drawn to her face and get involved with the landscape and am moved, but not shocked.
The fashion industry looks beautiful and fun on the outside, but the backside has long and ugly streams running through our own society, our own minds, and mostly through the countless lives that make OUR clothes day in and day out. And it doesn't just stop at those that sew the fabrics together. There are so many dark corners, starting with the cotton industries, where whole villages in India, just to name one effect, keep having babies born with disabilities and sicknesses and their fathers die way to young of cancers because they work with toxic pesticides in the cotton fields. And then there are the mountains of toxic clothing waste (most of the material we wear today is actually harmful for the environment) just in the landscape somewhere in the deserts in Chile or in many countries in Africa - our 'generous' donations end up somewhere.
The dove collection is my reflection on my own involvement.
They are supposed to remind us of Iconography, icon paintings, paintings of saints.
Yet doves with halos? Doves carry so much symbolism in many cultures and religions.
In a way they represent a innocent creature, a pure being. In some religions and cultures they would be used as sacrifices - for example in Judaism.
Of course they also represent peace.
I am playing on the innocence and victimhood. Because even though my ideals are to buy fair-trade and sustainable fashion, I find it very difficult to do it consitantly because frankly, there are actually as good as no options in Ålesund. And the online options are very limited in Norway and at least in my mindset out of my price range. I am still making a shift in my mind about clothes. I want them to last I don't want to keep buying cheap deals that will hopefully last me a season. But I would rather want to have clothes of quality that I know last me years. Every time I go into a mainstream fashion store I am involved. Yet I feel like a victim of the big players of the fashion industry. Because I think I don't have an option. But is that really true or am I just choosing convenience? How innocent am I and way do I even play this game? It seems so fun on the outside, but what are the backstories of my clothes? What is actually lurking in my closet?
Just two generations ago it was so normal to make you own clothes, and to simply own less. And it was ok.
Now we usually own so much that it troubles us.
All pictures and artworks on this website are copyright of Silvia Ilona Klatt.
Photographs on this website were taken by Maddi Gulstrom, Silvia Ilona Klatt, Stefan Miron and Anna Maertin