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Absent Bodies

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Nikolina Olsen-Rule
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Press Release January 29, 2020

Young Nordic fashion talents raise questions about contemporary body ideals in a new exhibition at Designmuseum Danmark.

The exhibition Absent Bodies can be seen on the Museum Plaza in front of Designmuseum Danmark from April 2, 2020 to September 13, 2020.

In co-operation with Designers’ Nest, Designmuseum Danmark presents the exhibition Absent Bodies. What the five young designers who are showing their unique works in the exhibition have in common is that in various ways they work with the sculptural body as a basis for their design practice. As the exhibition’s title, Absent Bodies, suggests, the body is absent in all of the works, which illustrates how contemporary designers use their work to explore and challenge the special conventions and ideals that exist in the close relationship between body and fashion. The five young Nordic designers were chosen precisely because of their unique talent and special ability to rethink the principles of fashion design and their approach to aspects of the contemporary societal agenda such as sustainability, power relationships, mental health, and identity in a global perspective. The designers were specially chosen and received the Designers’ Nest Exhibition Prize 2020’.

Designmuseum Danmark’s director Anne-Louise Sommer says:

As the design museum for all of Denmark, it’s important for us to support talent development not just in Denmark but throughout the Nordic countries. That’s why our co-operation with the Designers’ Nest Exhibition Prize 2020 and the exhibition Absent Bodies is a natural extension of earlier exhibitions we have displayed on the Museum Plaza in which up-and-coming craftspeople and designers from throughout the Nordics were represented.

A platform for new talents

Designers’ Nest is a platform for talent development with the goal of supporting and advancing promising young fashion designers from Nordic design schools. The annual award ceremony includes ten finalists who have demonstrated a high level of originality, creativity, and handiwork, plus an ability to tackle wider societal issues and pressing questions. The five works that will be shown on Designmuseum Danmark’s Museum Plaza are created by finalists from Designers’ Nest.

The exhibition Absent Bodies is curated by Ane Lynge-Jorlén, director of Designers’ Nest and Pernille Stockmarr, curator and museum inspector at Designmuseum Danmark.

Designers’ Nest is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, Nordisk Kulturfond, Copenhagen Municipality, Beckett-Fonden and Tuborgfondet and is under the protection of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary.

About the five finalists

  • Courtney Makins (University of Borås, The Swedish School of Textiles, Sweden) with the work Absent Bodies
  • Amina Saada (Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture, Finland) with the work Wearable Sculptures
  • Oliver Oppermann (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School for Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark) with the work follow4follow
  • Fredrik Möller (University of Borås, The Swedish School of Textiles, Sweden) with the work People go to Work
  • Ishara Jayathilake (National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, Norway) with the work East meets West.