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CITY – FASHION – MACHINE

Centralne Muzeum Włókiennictwa w Łodzi
December 30,2021 - May 31,2022

December 30 May 31

City of fashion, city of machines, fashion in the city, city machinery, fashion machine, fashion for the city, fashion for machines. Futuristic poem about life and work in Łódź.

The desire for impetus, industrialisation, following new trends in a modern city mentioned in the title, obliges us to make a futuristic exhibition. We will neither burn libraries nor demolish museums, but we will deconstruct the traditionally linear, chronological narration.

On three floors, we tell the story of the city that endures, and about the people who have courage to keep reinventing it. Some build it, others bring down the former order. This is also the story about those who chose Łódź to live in, work and relax in, and each and every day they left or still leave their trails on the streets of Łódź. Or maybe they are just wishing and dreaming. Łódź has had its ups and downs, good times and bad, peaks and depressions. On the one hand, it is a city with one of the longest shopping streets in Europe; a city with the oldest fabric and clothing department in Poland; a city which witnessed the greatest demographic jump in the 19th century, and conversely – an enclave of one hundred thousand unemployed after the 1989 transformation and a challenging privatisation process.

The CITY – FASHION – MACHINE exhibition is composed of intertwining islands. On the ground floor, there are still present the machines that recreate the technological chain of processing raw materials– wool, cotton, and linen. They tell a chronologically mixed story about working in a factory which is undergoing change. The Laboratory is the culmination point at the end of the ground floor space. This is where the intellectual, design, and scientific aspects of the textile industry are assembled. They are represented by fabric samples, artistic patterns of fabric prints, and a stand with a microscope.

The first floor of the exhibition takes us on a journey through a growing and changing city. The dynamic of the bustling Łódź of textile is reflected by the vibrations of a sine wave which fluctuates between work and rest, management and workers, working and striking. Will you hear the bone cracking of dying palaces here? You will certainly see the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch, and the slap.

The second floor is dedicated to fashion that we vary by all city cases. On the longest catwalk, Piotrkowska Street, citizens of Łódź stroll, all dressed up. Shop windows, neon lights, and signboards call for pedestrians’ attention. Telimena, Nestor, Moda Polska, and Hoffland – brands and labels co-exist on equal terms with clothes redone and sewn at home. Creativity from XS to XXL. Likewise, the bazaar elegance straight from the ŁKS stadium rub shoulders with unique clothes of the Public Academy of Arts graduates.

The individual islands do not aspire to exhaust the topics. They are rather an open work, enriched with the experiences and emotions of visitors who diversify the narration with their own stories. Therefore, the exhibition invites everyone to join the dialogue, without becoming an aprioristic, educational story.

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