‘200 Sisters Souvenirs’ – 200 years of exhibition catalogues, side notes and slippery images, a feminist exhibition (mis)reading” is a project by Rebecca Stephany developed on the occasion of the 200-year anniversary of The Baden Art Association (Badischer Kunstverein) in Karlsruhe in 2018.
The project is the result of an intensive exploration of the catalogue archive of Badischer Kunstverein from a decidedly slippery feminist point of view. Drawing from the archive, which consists of over 300 catalogues and monographs, Stephany developed a publication with an accompanying line of merchandise. In addition, current members of Badischer Kunstverein were invited to donate a piece of used clothing in exchange for a modified one, with a process resulting in an edition of logo-bleached and modified second-hand garments and accessories.
The project transposes methodologies of uncovering, misreading and zooming-in from the archival research to wearable and useable objects. In reference to low-fi souvenir articles found in museum shops, the merchandise ranges from key chains, eyewear straps and bookmarks to custom-made woven ribbons featuring text fragments from the catalogue archive. Weaving is taken up as an analogy for joining forces, while bleaching is deployed throughout as a ‘printing’ method, with the 200 Sisters logo inscribed through the removal of dye, as a model for uncovering what is there but hidden.
Following the ‘200 Sisters Souvenirs’ presentation, writer Amelia Groom will give a personal response to the project, focusing on questions of historical erasure as well as the possibilities of bleach-inscriptions within feminist responses to archival inheritance.
Organized by Warehouse, an Amsterdam-based collective existing of Elisa van Joolen, Femke de Vries and Hanka van der Voet aiming to provide a platform for critical fashion practitioners, in order to create an engaging environment that facilitates critical dialogue and the creation of an alternative fashion discourse that goes beyond seeing fashion as a commodity.