FASHIONING WINTER – SOMERSET HOUSE (11th November – 11th January 2015)
“Great is the world and its wonders are many. The extraordinary, however is nowhere equally distributed over the globe. Here and there only do the works of creation loom grandly, sublimely and majestically before our vision. And as if at such favoured places the creative spirit could not do enough, thousands and thousands of minute traits of landscape beauty are crowded to form a complete and comparable picture.”
- Bernese Wonderland (Benteli guide)
Ninety years ago the first Winter Olympiad took place and since then the wide exposure of action on the slopes has created more interest in skiing both as a sport and as a pastime. Technological advances have made the sport easier and ‘winter-sports kit’ has evolved to keep people looking impressive on the white carpet.
Ski resorts of varying prestige and exclusivity have opened up all over the world. Global travel has enabled keen skiers to congregate on particular slopes, frequently distinguished by class. The costs involved have made skiing more accessible for the elite, rich and famous. The Royal Family and the upper classes have given the sport the stamp of respectability but more recently the party ski holiday has become increasingly popular across social divides.
The display acts as a quasi-time machine in which objects have been selected to create a ‘capsule-archive’ that condenses a century of skiing culture. The global distribution of mountains and ski resorts has been used as a template to help visualise some of these key ski moments in space. Such networks are often transitory; explore the archive and map to make your own connections.