Review /

Hedi Slimane Fondation Pierre Bergé / Paris

For his exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane chose an explicit title: “Sonic.” The exhibition displays fifteen years of Slimane’s archives — mostly black-and-white photographs from the music world including portraits of Lou Reed, Amy Winehouse, Keith Richards and others.

Slimane needs no introduction. He is the rebel kid of the fashion world and sees the world as a stage in which he can inhabit many different roles: curator, designer, artist, graphic designer, etc. His multitalented, fragmented personality is very representative of the ADD generation. There are, however, some themes running through all of his work — his love for the black-and white-photographic image, his fascination with music, his attraction to architecture — that are mirrored in the way he designs clothes, always keeping in mind the sense of proportion and composition. The medium is the message, and the message never differs with Slimane, always promoting one vision, one esthetic — absorbing, documenting and analyzing culture as well as instigating it.

In “Sonic,” the images are dispatched in symmetrical constellations along the white walls of the old Parisian building, creating kaleidoscopic compositions and suggesting narrative connections.

Slimane was born with a camera and a David Bowie album in his hand. His relationship to music is omnipresent; it is translated into and exudes from everything that he does — from the way he builds his fashion shows with a specifically commissioned soundtrack, to the way he carelessly captures his environment with the effortlessness of a guitarist playing his instrument. Even in “Sonic” he uses sound as a medium, juxtaposing in an anachronistically way the sounds of London and California.

by Tatiana De Pahlen