Beyond Fashion

IPFO - House of Photography
Olten, Switzerland
11 March – 4 June 2023
Curated by Nathalie Herschdorfer

Fashion magazines are not made to last. Every month there is a new issue with new images, new dreams to sell. One has to remember that fashion magazines produce hundreds of thousands of images to sell fashion. While flipping through these magazines, one surprising image can suddenly catch the eye. This image goes beyond the magazine whose purpose is to sell a garment and to inform potential customers. Here it is about a photographer’s vision, new aesthetics at play, a narrative that reaches far beyond fashion.


At one time, the only place to see a fashion photograph was in the pages of a magazine or possibly stuck to the wall of a teenage girl’s bedroom; but things have changed, with museums holding major exhibitions, galleries and auction houses selling fashion images, and publishers constantly releasing new titles devoted to fashion photography. Removed from its original context (the magazine page), fashion photography is art’s rising star. The art world is much more accepting of fashion photography because museums have moved from high art to an all-embracing visual culture. For a long time, fashion photography was seen as exclusively commercial. However, contemporary photographers don’t necessarily conceive of their work as fitting into one single category or medium. In the 21st century, boundaries between editorial work, advertising work and personal work are now blurring. Digital media have changed the way photography is reported, consumed and shared. With the explosion of street-style blogs, Instagram and Pinterest, fashion photography has become the new visual language. No longer regarded as frivolous, it has been elevated to the status of an art form.


The show includes the work of the most acclaimed fashion photographers today, such as Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindbergh, Miles Aldridge, Ellen von Unwerth. It will also involve photographs and films of the new generation, Blommers & Schumm, Solve Sundsbo, Daniel Sannwald, Viviane Sassen or Erik Madigan Heck, all highly talented artists who are taking the lead in the years to come. The photographers brought together in this exhibition have looked anew at the potential of fashion photography and created an imagery that goes far beyond fashion.


Other locations:


Honk Kong
6 January – 24 February 2019


Shanghai Center of Photography

17 April – 25 July 2020


Xie Zilong Photography Museum

6 March – 4 July 2021


ALT.1 Hyundai

17 June – 25 September 2022


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