Who? Cecilia Finking
What? Neo.Fashion.: Graduate Shows and Awards
Where? Berlin Fashion Week
Why designs by Cecilia Finking matter?
What would surrealism look like today, asks Cecilia Finking in her collection “exi (s) t realism”.
First of all let’s define it. The “Art Terms” website section of London’s Tate gallery describes surrealism as a twentieth-century literary, philosophical and artistic movement that explored the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and the revolutionary. It aims to revolutionize human experience. It balances a rational vision of life with one that asserts the power of the unconscious and dreams. The movement’s artists find magic and strange beauty in the unexpected and the uncanny, the disregarded and the unconventional. At the core of their work is the willingness to challenge imposed values and norms, and a search for freedom.
Finking created her work around the concept that the global language of social network is no longer about the text, instead, it’s about the images. She says, “images that are changed and falsified with grimaces, filters and processing and that are nevertheless understood worldwide”. Wanting to tap creatively into an unconscious mind and inspired by the Surrealists’ techniques of Cadavre Exquis, Frottage or Grattage, Finking developed a modern technique working with technical filters. Adapted from surrealistic methods, the path to the collection became the focus of the work. She says, “the filtering of basic cuts and colors in order to create a digital as well as analogue color card has become an interplay of conscious and unconscious decisions”.
When looking at her work, you get an image of juxtaposition, unconventional and interesting combinations through the blocking of fabric and color, yet her looks may not be as radical as her focus in doing so. Her collection may not appear to suggest “beyond reality”, a phrase often used to define the surrealism movement. However, the objective in getting your attention that “exi (s) t realism” has an important statement to make and is not a frolicking, frivolous pile of clothes, I’d say that objective was met.
A “Look at EDGE”, a fashion library of the vanguard, curates a select few of Neo.Fashion.21 designers whose collections make socially relevant statements and offer storytelling through a fashion lens we don’t often see. Finking’s body of work is vibrant in color, composition, and texture. But the real message is its importance in content. It makes you think and discover, particularly about an historical art movement, surrealism, that can not only influence a contemporary artist, but opens up your mind to today’s anti-establishment movements, today’s version of surrealism. And these movements “exi (s) t”.
Feature Image: Cecilia Finking, designer | Neo.Fashion. Graduate Show – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin September 2021 | Photo by Robert Schlesinger/Getty Images for Neo.Fashion.