Commissioned by the museum especially for this exhibition, Marit Ilison’s monumental piece “77 chintzes” will be on display till 4th of August at KUMU Art Museum. The piece consisting of 77 printed cotton dresses is resembling a modern take on the Soviet woman’s uniform and representing a selection of 89 patterns from the museum archive from 1967 to 1992.
Initiated by Marit Ilison’s personal memory of a hot and sweaty summer day at the end of the 1980s – the artist sitting on her grandmother’s lap, who is wearing a floral chintz dress, making hay on a horse rake – Ilison is deeply fascinated by how a floral chintz dress was a real soviet workwear that was worn everywhere, even at dirty works, being a very feminine phenomenon and opposing heavily to Western-European (mostly) monochrome or white uniforms.
Following her previous piece “70 cotton smocks” (2008-2011), Ilison is continuing her path on nostalgia and personal memories, collaborating this time with the not yet discovered archives of now-defunct Krenholm Textile manufacture in Estonia.
Ilison had worked with the archives before when leading an experimental form course at Estonian Academy of Arts, but it is the first time that Krenholm collection has been worked with and publicly presented in such vast volume. All of the used 89 prints were digitalized one by one and reprinted on contemporary cotton canvas. Only one dress and a tote bag were made out of each fabric and these will not be reproduced. One-of-a-kind hand-numbered tote bags are available at www.maritilison.com.
For more information about the exhibition and participating artist: https://kumu.ekm.ee/en/syndmus/sots-art-and-fashion-conceptual-clothes-from-eastern-europe/