New Model ArmyArtwork Factory
Four headless mannequins are lined up in a row, one behind the other. Artist Alexandra Bircken has sewn parts of used motorcycle clothing directly onto the plastic bodies with filler cotton and silk tights. The abrasion from accidents on the motorcycle clothing, as well as the hand stitching, act like scars on sculptures. Reuse of already used materials occurs frequently in Alexandra’s works.
Alexandra uses the patchwork technique for her collection. She combines delicate layers of fabric with heavy ones, thus telling stories of protection and vulnerability.
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Leather, absorbent cotton, nylon, stitching. What are the properties of these materials?
Skin is a miracle of nature: It forms the boundary between the body and the outside world, it protects and is flexible, while at the same time being penetrable and vulnerable.
Alexandra Bircken, as a fashion designer, is interested in the second skin.
When injured skin heals, scars form. Alexandra plays with this idea in her sculptures. How does she indicate scars in the clothing?
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What does a person express with their clothes?
As an artist, Alexandra Bircken works with the human anatomy, but also with machines. For her, this is not a contradiction: “Humans partly function like machines,” she says.
How do the “New Model Army” mannequins show the connection between humans and machines?
Like stripped skins, countless pieces of clothing end up on mountains of garbage. What price does our planet pay for the fashion industry’s ever-new trends? Does it always have to be something new?
Learn more about Alexandra Bircken and her work “New Model Army” (2016) as well as the topics fashion and sustainability!
Sometimes artists use fabrics, materials or objects that are typically used in everyday situations or specific areas. Which objects, surfaces, structures do you find exciting and why?