Duran Lantink – Old Stock

By Susanna Li

Duran Lantink’s amalgamation of work sits contently in a world of posts. Post-modern, post-genre, post-club. Renowned for his vagina pants worn by Janelle Monáe in the music video for ‘PYNK’, his exhibition Old Stock is similarly tongue in cheek and a bit meta. Lantink serves a critical commentary on fashion sustainability, questioning clothing’s role as an identity making mechanism. 

Collage is something you possibly became familiar with at an early age, cutting out snippets from magazines and sticking them nonsensically onto a blank page. More abstractly, collage can be the selection of fragmented wholes and reassembly of selected parts, with exposed or concealed seams. Lantink utilises this artistic process, imprinting it on each element of the exhibition.  

The first room features looks (outfits) created from old clothing stock, a delightfully unsettling re-commodification of commodities. Lantink sews around holes created from wear, highlighting the parts that makes an object lose market worth but gain sentimental value for the person. The room is lined with black clothing providing a light vacuum in which his creations stand tall. 

Notably, he also drew attention to the false belief that luxury brands were more ethical, as logically, high price signifies scarcity, and therefore lesser levels of mass production. He chose to break this down in the mis-en-scene of a plundered luxury boutique. The vaguely spiritual anarchist graffiti and crime  signifiers are overshadowed by vintage Commes des Garcons and Balenciaga hanging on the racks.

For the final room, Lantink collaborated with transgender sex workers in South Africa to design a bespoke collection that reflects their dreams and aspirations. It holds the reconstructive, forward looking segment of the project; pieces of a collage merge to create something fresh. 

Old Stock is an exhibition of collected excerpts: different mediums pasted together, rip marks and dried glue still evident. But the most compelling parts of the exhibition are the unspoken, the negative spaces. The spaces Lantink has left for the visitor to fill in. 

This exhibition runs from 13 July to 27 October at Centraal Museum, Utrecht and is free for Subbacultcha Members.