The Octopus Dress

The magic of the clothes is transformed into sculptural beautyTilbage til AIDOH's hjemmesideBilleder af BLÆKSPRUTTEKJOLEN

Jens Galschiot’s tribute to the couturier Erik Mortensen unveiled as sculpture at the Dress Vocational School in Odense in October 1999. The school had got permission from Erik Mortensen and raised the necessary capital from local funds.

Erik Mortensen (1926-1998) had chosen the dress in question himself shortly before his death. It comes from his time by the fashion house Scherrer in Paris 1992/93. To transform a dress with pattern and embroidery into a sculpture is not that easy. Galschiot had to try several samples, before he was able to approve of the heavy bronze sculpture weighing 90 Kg. Two castings together with corrosions in the surface had to be made to make the pattern stand out as structure in the form. To make the transformation from an elegant haute couture dress to a dynamic and vivid sculpture succeed, Galschiot further more had to interpret a living person in the frames of the dress. The female shape was intensified and rounded, movement was put in through a sense of hang of the fabric in mobile folds in a light progressive posture.

The deep understanding and interpreting of the relationship between body, the form of the clothing, the play of the draping in the pattern and structure of the textile together with the person’s elegant way of moving Jens Galschiot shares with Erik Mortensen. The result has become a persisting hesitating ‘gracefullness’, who folds out itself in the big outer room where the sculpture all the time will change its character with the light and the changing of the weather.

To increase the mobile the sculpture is put on a great rock, which though its rough raising form transforms a strong undercurrent of raw energy from the foundation up to the bronze, so that it is almost experienced as a figurehead on a ship which roars forward through the sea. This impression is made stronger by the fact that the rock is already standing on a big place with stone flags, which are spread out beside and behind the sculpture. Furthermore the raw granite rock is known as a natural balancing of the cultural elegant beauty of the dress.

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1999: Octopus Dress
Additional Information:
Categories: 1999: Octopus Dress | Clothing Sculptures | Commissioned Work
Sculptures: Octopus Dress
Type: Documents
Dates: 7th October 1999
Locations: Odense, Denmark | Beklædningsfagskolen, Brummers Plads, Odense, Denmark
Co-operators and Helpers: Jean Voigt | Joergen Simonsen
Partners: Erik Mortensen
Sponsors: Bikuben | Engineer N.M. Knudsen Foundation | Nykredit | Thomas B. Thrige Foundation