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Exploring Martin Margiela’s Obsession with Objects

Welcome to the 84th insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode we spotlight Martin Margiela’s focus on the everyday, explaining the power of perspective through objects.

Margiela as both an artist and designer was conceptually driven. From his earliest works, the creative became fixated on suppositions of time, anonymity and perspective, often forcing his viewers into a forign outlook through symbolism or setting. While clothing was a main focus, objects were also noted as a transformative muse on his iconic white tag, occupying the ⑬ of 23 sublines.

A common theme among anti-fashion trailblazers, such as Margiela himself, is to redefine the restrictive definitions that are often used to categorise artistic work. In regard to a plate per se, many would unanimously agree that the porcelain dish is used to eat from, but Margiela looks deeper. Instead, he questions the uses of this inanimate object, and repurposes it as both a vest and invitational measure.

By taking an object that is commonly disregarded and in pair neglected, he spotlights the subtle beings that shape our world. Margiela investigates those that are interacted with but paid no mind to, and brings each to the forefront of our attention. By walking them down a runway, in an unfamiliar environment, attached to a human we don’t know, somehow this previously dismissed item assumes an unprecedented stature that isn’t fully understood.

The designer begs the question “why?” through our everyday life - why is the jacket on the stage regarded as art but the flashlight in your closet isn’t, and what if it was? Who defines these rules and how can we reconstruct them, to provoke an audience for just a minute. By re-evaluating the chair one sits on, or the phone they may hold, he invites us to look with new eyes, to celebrate the ignored and reject preconceived notions.

Whether Martin Margiela directs our focus to a deck of cards, rubix cube, or credit card, he continues to distil our understanding of the surrounding world - for beauty is held in all.

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