“What is Fake, What is Real”: Melitta Baumeister at V-Files

The sharp, visionary new collection by Melitta Baumeister, a recent graduate from Parsons MFA in Design & Society, is now up at V-Files on style.com.

Baumeister’s work—rooted here in the complex play of black and white— updates contemporary simplicity for the ambitious, cybernetic métier evoked by Eyebeam, where the collection was first shown.       

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Innovative in her use of materials, Baumeister “developed a method of re-creating clothes—like fisherman’s knits and ribbed tanks—in silicone via a series of intricate molds.” For V-Files, this collection—particularly the “structured vinyl coats, an airy white neoprene dress, and belts crafted from marbled silicone”—stood out. There is also a small tribute to the fine art context in her incorporation of the banana, a post-ironic nod to Warhol, whose own work often explored the extensive possibilities of black and white.  

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The digital made IRL, the IRL made digital: Baumeister removes the difference between the world online and off to engage the sculptural quality of both, focusing on how the body moves in living space while evoking its sharp- and soft-focus presentation in .jpegs, .gifs, Tumblr, and Twitter. 

Of her work, she says: “I considered what is fake, what is real, the loss of tangibility, and the importance of experience.” Finally, a return to touch—and to experience.