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Henrik Vibskov: Neck Plus Ultra

The Danish fashion designer invades Paris' Galerie des Galeries for a conceptual exhibition of necks

by Isabelle Doal
on 05 March 2013

Named for the Latin motto "nec plus ultra" (literally, "nothing farther beyond"), Henrik Vibskov's latest effort "Neck Plus Ultra" is a continuation of his AW 2013 show, "The Stiff Neck Chamber." Taking place in an elaborate space—a forest of upside down long necks that can be identified as black swans—the exhibition lets visitors wander backstage and into Vibskov's eccentric universe. Preparatory work for the collection, elements of inspiration, sketches and raw material tests are the foundation of the poetically playful show. The neck motif operates as a unifying thread throughout the story of Vibskov's creative process.


A series of large bins of spun wool are meant to give an example of the working process. While traveling in Norway, the Danish designer saw large drums fed with coiling flows of wool and says he felt he should use it in some context. "The swirling flows," Vibskov says, "are very attractive, but the materiality of the wool and the fact that it is already formed into patterned sequences are themselves fascinating and appealing." The drums may also be a nod to Vibskov's musical life, in which he tours the world as drummer for electronic musician Trentemøller.


The "tunnel" installation—designed to make a strong optical effect by intertwining 16 orange and black tubes—also resembles spools of thread and hints again at the neck motif.

In a series of canvas works considered by the artist to be "abstract wool paintings," Vibskov intended to show how wool could be used in a different medium. It also communicates a lot about Vibskov's geometrical taste and range of colors.

An installation of framed nylon socks filled up with foam show off the artist's experience "controlling and designing the dynamic form which the foam permits," he explains of the neck-like sculptures.


The exhibition unveils Vibskov's protean approach, investigating other fields such as dance, theater and music, such as the installation made with filmmaker Thomas Jessen. Inspired by the work of Danish artist Richard Winther, it showcases distorted portraits of naked bodies photographed through a rainbow spectrum of soap bubbles.

In appealing to visual, audio and tactile senses, the exhibition provides a stimulating experience of the creative process and will be on view at Galerie des Galeries through 4 May 2013.

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