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embodiment_dress plot

Secession, Vienna 2004

Regina Möller situates her works in the border realm of art, fashion, and comics. She takes various formats of contemporary cultural communication and reflects on their identity-forming, economic, and functional connotations. For example, in her magazine regina, with which she has reached a broad readership since the late 1990s, she adapts the language of women’s magazines. Through subtle shifts she undermines the common constructions of female identity. Parallel to this, Regina Möller has designed clothing, carpets, furniture and inner decor under her own label, embodiment, since 1993. In doing so, she charges the materials with new meanings and examines the socio-cultural parameters of products beyond current and thereby transitory fashions.

Embodiment_dress plot, © Regina Möller
Embodiment_dress plot, © Regina Möller
Embodiment_dress plot, © Regina Möller

Embodiment_dress plot, © Regina Möller
Embodiment_dress plot, © Regina Möller

© Regina Möller, 2004

For her exhibition embodiment – dress plot at the Secession, Regina Möller designed a new collection, which she stages as an installation, developing a complex tale in the medial crossing of clothing, stage design and radio show.

Thematically, the starting point is the comic figure Poison Ivy. Originally conceived as a peripheral figure to Batman, she has meanwhile emancipated herself through her own comic and has become a super hero. Characteristic is her double identity as protector of plants and the environment on the one hand, and a destructive criminal, on the other. Thanks to a hyperactive immune system, her body does not react to the deadly poisons of the plants that she lovingly tends in her green paradise; plants whose killer-vines and poisonous pollen she simultaneously deploys as biological weapons against her enemies.

Poison Ivy’s inconstancy and the double image of the female as the little housewife and “femme fatale” are mirrored in a variety of ways in Regina Möller’s staging. She has developed two fictive female characters, which, in the end, stand for one person. They are defined through their surroundings, their voices and their clothes. The outfits become alive through the details and are, in principle, wearable. The identity-forming function of costumes in comics is based on imagining them as a second skin. Through a battle enacted with the costume, this type of “personification of the cover” – literally, the embodiment – intensifies in the radio play to a dramatic and amusing event of self-discovery.

Regina Möller contradicts designs of ideal femininity by grounding them in a relation to herself as a person. Möller opposes the standardization and normalization of the body, which is allegorically embodied by the dressmaker’s dummy as costume bearer, with her own body, from which she takes the measurements for the costume. Her comical-style portrait is printed on the costumes’ designs as well as larger-than-life murals.

Regina Möller’s installations quote the fashion world’s means of presentation, for example showcase windows and catwalks, as well as the language of museums’ exhibition displays and the theater stage. Oscillating between these referential spaces, on the borderline of art and fashion, body and costume design, she presents a scenario that plays out individual and model, fiction and reality.

In: Möller, Regina: embodiment – dress plot, exhibition catalogue Secession, Vienna 2004

See also: embodiment
regina

www.regina-magazine.de

30/04/06


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