The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York
The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York
The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York
The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment by Bjarne Melgaard and Babak Radboy, New York

Dystopian department store

02 : 03 : 2017 Bjarne Melgaard : Anti-luxurians : New York Fashion Week

New York – Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard is addressing the triviality of consumerism in a large-scale exhibition.

  • The culmination of his fashion project, The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment, is on show at Red Bull Arts New York
  • At The Purge event members of the public could take away pieces of designer clothing for free

Located on the former site of Barneys Co-op, the space was transformed by Melgaard and creative director Babak Radboy into a neglected department store. The multidisciplinary project, which coincided with New York Fashion Week, began on Valentine’s Day, when the experimental artist gave away his entire wardrobe of designer clothing in a cathartic performance that he called The Purge.

In addition to the mass giveaway, Melgaard launched a unisex capsule collection designed to expose cult streetwear as a market pretending to be a community, featuring slogans such as ‘the more you pay, the less they care’. Gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise became the faux department store’s jewellery department, hosting Melgaard’s recent collaboration with jeweller BJØRG.

Overall, the show, which runs until 9 April, explores the self-destructive tendencies of fashion and consumerism. ‘For Melgaard, fashion is a vague nothing at the intersection of a subject and an object… driven by an infinite cycle of disappointment and desire,’ said Red Bull Arts New York in a statement.

The Big Picture

By placing streetwear in an unrelenting light and inducing mass hysteria among visitors hungry for free designer labels, Melgaard is indulging the Anti-luxurians who have no interest in the traditional practices of the luxury market.

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