Summer Collection

Meschac Gaba Summer Collection From Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997–2002 on display at Tate Modern 2013

Meschac GabaSummer CollectionFrom Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997–2002Installation at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 29 August – 15 November 2009

Photo: Nils Klinger© Meschac Gaba

The Summer Collection comprises several articles of cotton and silk clothing made or embellished by the artist. With the exception of a single navy blazer with red lining and a fashionably ripped pocket, the clothes are all white. Large square shirts hanging on the walls and suspended from the ceiling resemble Mondrian paintings with their white ground and simple geometric forms in primary colours. The dresses are more whimsical, light and airy, adorned with coloured threads, coins and used telephone cards. The clothes are neither obviously European nor African. Rather they are imaginary hybrid creations utilising a recycling aesthetic, while referencing haute couture. Fashion is a symbol of status and wealth, a creative form celebrated seasonally with fashion shows around the world and retrospectively in collections and exhibitions. For Gaba fashion provided another avenue to explore systems of value and the everyday elevated to art.