Galerie Thomas Schulte presents from April 29 to June 24, 2017 two solo exhibitions Teil 18. Die Welt gibt es nicht! and Teil 33. Nachlass zu Lebzeiten by Michael Müller. The exhibitions constitute the finale of a four year cycle Eighteen Exhibitions, which started in April 2013 and which in the end will consist of overall 33 exhibitions and 4 performances.
As part of Teil 18. Die Welt gibt es nicht! Müller presents the fashion collection Garten der Freundschaft which is the result of the artist’s collaboration with fashion designer Vladimir Karaleev. The opening of the exhibition was marked by a performance and fashion show Show: Garten der Freundschaft, when the newly designed fashion collection was presented alongside a new product line of cosmetics. On the evening of the 28th of April the collection was successively integrated into the exhibition Teil 18. Die Welt gibt es nicht!.
Instead of the traditional, hierarchical separation between time- and functionless art on the one hand, and fashion as the embodiment of Zeitgeist, functionality, and branding on the other, Müller is interested in – through the medium of fashion – challenging the models of the social, conceptual, and market-economic mechanisms that construct the value of art. The result is a hybrid that on different levels addresses the question of one’s own status and that of art: while Haut Couture has to fulfill the expectation of with high-quality, expensive fabrics, the label of art allows a combination of materials from various sources which have different sets of values attributed to them. The garments worn by the artist himself have been integrated as ready-mades and add to the notion of a fetishization of the artist as a person or brand. The promise of physical proximity to the artist (“the artist is present”) increases the commercial and sentimental value, whether by actual presence or by mere material trace of the artist.