In June 2009, Frankie Morello presented the “site-specific” project by Sophie Usunier of France in its flagship store in Milan; this was called Les Empaillés.
The exhibition was the first appointment in a broader project called “Knot – Frankie Morello meets art”, arising from the strong passion for contemporary art shared by the two designers, Maurizio Modica and Pierfrancesco Gigliotti, the brand’s heart, who are also collectors and aspiring patrons.
Les Empaillés (The Stuffed objects) is a project founded in 2003. It consists of a series of “sculpture-installations” made with clothes that are no longer of use, which the artists requests from the inhabitants of the place in which the work is to be displayed. In the case of Knot #1, Usunier asked Frankie Morello to use vintage clothes covering the span of the 10 years since the brand was founded, giving them new meaning by changing the original forms, deforming, inflating and stuffing them after having sewn them together. Making use of different techniques and artistic languages, the artist re-elaborates the mechanisms governing our perception of the world, and so offering us fresh and unconventional points of view.
“My reflection”, explains the artist, “is anthropological in nature. Les Empaillés should not be seen only as sculptures, but as objects to be lived and made to live”.
This is Frankie Morello’s comment regarding the work of Sophie Usunier: “We shall have the possibility of discovering an interesting interpretation of our garments, decontextualised and adapted for a new use. Recycling, re-using, regenerated spaces are all things that fascinate us”.
Sophie Usunier was born in France in 1971. She lives and works in Milan and Nancy. After her studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, she exhibited in France, Germany and Italy, in public and private venues, including: the PAV in Turin; the FRAC Lorraine in Metz; the Fondazione SoutHeritage in Matera; the Lago with the Fondazione March in Padua; the Museo Laboratorio di Città Sant’Angelo; the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa; the Galleria Placentia Arte in Piacenza; at the NeonProjectBox in Milan; the Galleria Note Artecontemporanea in Arezzo.