This exhibition considers the role of a fashion garment as a socio-political carrier. The hoodie is a staple of contemporary dress, hyped as a trend and a must-have item; but elsewhere it is also a topic of moral panic, banned by certain institutions and dissected by the media as an emblem of inequality, crime or deviancy. Curated by writer and curator Lou Stoppard.
The hoodie tells many stories that define our times – tales of social inequality, youth culture, subculture, police brutality, racism, privacy, fear and, in turn, style. With its roots in sports clothing and workwear, the hoodie as we know it today was popularised by Champion in the 1930s as a practical solution for workmen. It is now, arguably, western fashion’s last truly political garment – a garment that can incite fear, jealously, camaraderie and even fury in others – as well as being a garment you can lose your life by wearing. The lingering question posed by the hoodie is simply: ‘Who enjoys the right to wear one without challenge?’ (The New York Times)
The hoodie sparks a range of emotions, communicating all manner of social and cultural ideas and nuances depending on the gender, geography, age, conduct and ethnicity of the wearer and, in turn, the prejudices and politics of the viewer. To some it is a clothing solution and nothing more. To others, its complexities are unavoidable. Based on the particular context, the hoodie can be both boring or iconic, bourgeois or rebellious, provide a safe shelter or trigger aggression, generate invisibility or privacy or make an explicit statement; you will find it on the streets, on sports tracks, on the catwalk and in the office.
Read more about The Hoodie
The exhibition and the other programme elements taking place under The Hoodie within the walls of Het Nieuwe Instituut are described as the project’s ‘off-site’ events. These are activities organised at a location other than the place where the hoodie originally manifests itself as a living social, cultural and political phenomenon. Through this active decision to switch around the concept of inside and outside, of internal and external presentations and of centre and periphery, the instituut is attempting, encouraged by partner Concrete Blossom, to express the problems involved in ‘exhibiting counter culture’.
A deliberately disruptive partnership: Het Nieuwe Instituut and Concrete Blossom
The collective Concrete Blossom grew up in Rotterdam and operates in a range of different situations as a design studio, publisher and cultural platform. In the fall of 2019, the collective announced that it is entering into a long-term cooperative partnership with Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Together under The Hoodie, Het Nieuwe Instituut and curator Lou Stoppard have invited a range of artists to respond to the themes of the project with a new work created from their own individual perspective and practice. In his as yet untitled contribution, Bogomir Doringer addresses the many different depictions and representations of the hoodie in the media, linking these to his long-term examination of issues surrounding privacy and surveillance.
In their mixed-media installation What We Are Made Of, Angelica Falkeling looks at cotton: the material most hoodies are made from. In this work dealing with one of the most-used ‘raw materials of our everyday lives’, Falkeling uses audio and sculptural elements to explore the cotton industry’s impact on the societies it touches and our climate.
Spatial and graphic design (off-site)
Het Nieuwe Instituut sees an important task in commissioning both graphic and spatial designers. The identity and communication of the institute and all the individual projects with which it presents itself to the outside world are the result of that mission. Within the context of The Hoodie, Studio LA and Ines Cox have been invited to partner up with the institute to develop the project's spatial and graphic design.
Things and Materials
We inhabit an environment filled with materials that astound us with their capacity to transform. Our challenge is to discover, collect, analyse, process and utilise them. This holds true not only for materials found in our physical environment on Earth – from rare, extremely pure minerals to hybrid composites— but also for ‘dark matter’ in space. All over the world we use raw materials that at some point will run out. Not only does this constitute a threat to our direct environment, it also results in the disappearance of unique ecosystems and even entire cultures. Yet we continue to wonder at the infinite potential of materials, including their capacity to be used on ever smaller scales. Human ingenuity continues to throw up new meanings, under constantly evolving aesthetic conditions.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
Tuesday — Wednesday
11.00 — 17.00
11.00 — 21.00
Friday — Sunday
11.00 — 17.00