Claudia Skoda - Dressed to Thrill
Exhibition at Kulturforum Berlin, DE
11.02.2021 - 24.05.2021
Ulrike Ottinger, Ohne Titel (Claudia Skoda, Tabea Blumenschein & Jenny Capitain), Silbergelatine-Vintageprint, ca. 1977/78, © Ulrike Ottinger
Claudia Skoda’s fashions made her a key figure and icon of the West Berlin underground scene in the 1970s and 1980s. She revolutionised the concept of knitwear fashion through her unconventional designs; her spectacular fashion shows attracted international attention. With this first solo show, the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) pays tribute to Claudia Skoda’s work – in her home city of Berlin. The multimedia special exhibition presents around two hundred works, some previously never shown before, by Claudia Skoda and her art, film and music scene associates, including Martin Kippenberger, Luciano Castelli, Ulrike Ottinger, Tabea Blumenschein, Kraftwerk, Jim Rakete, and many more.
Claudia Skoda (b. 1943 in Berlin) was considered by Elle magazine to be one of the women – along with Coco Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Madonna – who shaped the look of the 20th century. Her designs were called “knitted genius” (Key, 1984), and she was known internationally as the “queen of texture” (Paper, 1985). She continues to work with creative minds from a wide range of disciplines – and remains preeminent in her chosen creative field of knitting – preferably done on a machine. Beginning in the mid-1970s, West Berlin’s bohemian scene of musicians, filmmakers, artists and fashion designers came together in her living and working community fabrikneu (factory new) in a loft in Zossener Straße in Kreuzberg.
The special exhibition at the Kulturforum explores Claudia Skoda’s life and work in seven thematic sections.
The 400-square-metre exhibition uses diverse media such as photographs, posters, films and music to document the work of fashion designer Claudia Skoda in all its diversity. At the same time, it gives an impression of the experimental energy and zeitgeist of the late 1970s and early 1980s in West Berlin. A large number of the exhibits stem from Claudia Skoda’s own archive and from the private archives of contemporary witnesses and friends. Many of the works displayed have never been publicly exhibited or have not been shown for a long time.
With this exhibition, the Kunstbibliothek, which possesses one of the world’s most significant image and text archives on the history of fashion in the form of the Fashion Image Collection at the Lipperheide Corstume Library, is increasing its scholarly research into Berlin’s late 20th century fashion networks. The exhibition also marks the transfer of a major portion of Claudia Skoda’s private archives to that collection, making them available to future generations of researchers.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Kettler Verlag.
Martin Kippenberger, Ohne Titel (Claudia Skoda mit ihrer Strickmaschine im U-Bahnhof Kottbusser Tor, Berlin), Silbergelatine-Vintageprint, ca. 1976-77, © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
Silke Grossmann, Bild für Claudia Skoda, in Zusammenarbeit mit Cynthia Beatt, Silbergelatine-Vintageprint, 1983, © Silke Grossmann
Esther Friedman, Ohne Titel (Claudia Skoda in Jazz Hose), Silbergelatine-Vintageprint, ca. 1978, © Esther Fried
Claudia Skoda posiert auf dem Dach der fabrikneu in ihrer Kollektion „Shake Your Hips“, unbekannter Fotograf, ohne Titel, Polaroid, ca. 1975, © Claudia Skoda
Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00-18:00
D- 10785 Berlin