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. While the hoodie provides safety and comfort for some wearers, others will face prejudice and discrimination, preferring to put the hood down in public. This inequality can be traced back to the question of who can wear a hoodie without hindrance, which is once again reconstituted by Covid-19 – the same applies to any form of head or face covering, even if it is 'acceptable' from a medical point of view.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
Het Nieuwe Instituut is looking for hoodies!
In addition to unique pieces from renowned artists and brands, we also want to share the story of your hoodie in the exhibition!
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.
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.
Spatial and graphic design (off-site)
Within the context of The Hoodie, Studio LA and Ines Cox were invited to partner up with the institute to develop the project's spatial and graphic design.