PERFORMING FASHION: EVA & ADELE in life and life in art

by Stefan Siegel
Friday evening: it's Berlin Fashion Week and I ask the taxi driver to take me from the heavily debated white Mercedes-Benz tent to Berlin central station. “When is your train?”, he asked and I replied, I was about to meet friends. Eva & Adele asked me to meet them at the train station, they had just arrived from Geneva and were about to board a train towards Dresden. And there they were, at the Hopfingerbräu eating traditional German dishes accompanied by German beer. This is not how I had imagined my meeting with the iconic couple, but what brought us together again was our shared love for fashion; the celebration and creation of a living art work, touching the boundaries of appearance in its conventional sense. Artists such as Eva & Adele make a similar impact on society as NJAL’s young fashion design talents, staging an ongoing hedonistic performance in everyday culture.

While browsing the major artistic expressions of contemporary art for more than ten years, while travelling through the world in their stylized pink motor home, EVA & ADELE--living icons of contemporary art--became known, recognized, popular figures. Considering that “everything that they do and are is a work of art", they develop outstanding production based on ideas of permanent interchange within the public--in a real symbiosis between art and mass culture, between public and private life, ignoring all barriers or frontiers: these are the "Grenzüberschreiter" EVA & ADELE.

EVA & ADELE appear as the real heirs of Marcel Duchamp, who transformed manufactured industrial products into works of art to affirm that all is art and that everybody is an artist and of Joseph Beuys, who criticized the notion of museum as an isolated institution. Like him, EVA & ADELE consider the museum as a sort of university, "because in the university, there is an interdisciplinarity between all domains of activity of the human being and because this interdisciplinarity would be capable of developing a new notion of art". EVA & ADELE consider their museum as a space without border, capable of taking place everywhere, in every day life.

As for these grand art mentors of the XXth century, what matters to EVA & ADELE is not only the work of art itself, but the very notion of art. The idea of art-in-life and life-in-art is what guides the artists in their constant effort to free themselves of pre-established universal paradigms in order to seize reality as it really is. "There is a high price to pay. We cross the existing gender to create a new one. As artists, it opens up for us an experimental field that is far more significant; socially, the limits unveil themselves more confusingly; in a general manner, people accept the difference, but if one is not gay, nor lesbian, nor hetero, then a great silence settles."

As they do it for themselves, EVA & ADELE want to inspire courage in people to abolish the strength of existing hierarchies so that each can live and work according to his or her own self-determination. EVA & ADELE invite us thus to open our eyes on this future that belongs to us. Whatever our questions, we became for a long time EVA & ADELE'S accomplices. Rightly understood, then we are the witnesses of a great paradigm shift.