Frida Parmeggiani, sketch for costume abstraction
Frida Parmeggiani, Textile Artefact n. 3. Photo and light design: Franck Evin
Photo Elisabeth Hölzl
Photo Franck Evin
Photo Elisabeth Hölzl

Palais Mamming Museum

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Frida Parmeggiani, Textile Artefact n.6. Photo and light design: Franck Evin


On occasion of the 70th birthday of the Merano costume designer Frida Parmeggiani, the Salzburger Mozarteum and Merano Arte present a comprehensive Frida Parmeggiani exhibition entitled Textile Artefacts.

From 1978 to 2008, Frida Parmeggiani was Europe's most sought-after costume designer. She worked with such legendary producers as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Samuel Beckett, André Heller, and others, and as early as 1979, she did the designs for Wagner's Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Fes-tival. For the Salzburg Festival, she designed the striking and fantastic costumes for Expecta-tions/Bluebeard's Castle, Pelléas et Melisande, Mitridate, and Danton's Death. She also outfitted Madame Butterfly in 1993 in Paris as well as Lohengrin at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York 1998. For Wagner's entire four-part opera cycle, she designed the costumes for the perfor-mances at the Opernhaus Zürich from 2000 to 2008 and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2005. From 1987 on, Parmeggiani almost exclusively designed the costumes for the productions of the American theater magician Robert Wilson. The cooperation between Wilson and Parmeggiani led to numerous unforgettable productions in Hamburg, Zürich, Berlin, Salzburg, Paris, Madrid, and New York, and as for costumes and light, it set new standards in the international theater and opera history.

Frida Parmeggiani, Textile Artefact n.9. Photo and light design: Franck Evin

For this project, Parmeggiani for the first time worked without a dramatic composition, singers, or actors, so she can apply her minimalist design vocabulary in a static-sculptural manner. Precious fabrics combined with metal elements or set pieces from nature amount to highly aesthetic “Kleidergeschöpfe” (garment artefacts) as Elfriede Jelinek calls them. The exhibition spans nine new costumes, some of which comprise several parts. In these artefacts, Parmeggiani explores the tension between space, form, and fabric. Their fragile starkness is breathtaking. They show us a diversity of techniques with which material can be shaped and sculpturally defamiliarised. Apart from these formal aspects, the designs are also autobiographical in nature, summarizing the expe-riences and dreams of their creator. As Silke Geppert puts it, the costume becomes a work of art that takes on different forms from costume design, clothing and fashion.

A catalog on the exhibition is published by Schlebrügge Editor/Vienna, with contributions by Robert Wilson, Elfriede Jelinek, C. Bernd Sucher, Ursula Schnitzer, and Silke Geppert (ISBN 978-3-902833-94-5). The two photo series were shot by the French light designer Franck Evin and the Merano photographer Elisabeth Hölzl.

Exhibition opening:
Friday, September 16, 7 pm
Pfarrplatz 6/ Merano

Kunst Meran:        
Duration: September 17, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm

Palais Mamming:    
- Elisabeth Hölzl
Duration: September 17 – November 20, 2016
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 am – 5 pm, Sunday and holidays 10.30 am – 1 pm

Former Barockmuseum, Galerie im Mirabellgarten, Holzpavillon Mirabell
Duration: July 21 – September 3, 2016