25 Years of Always Stress with BLESS
25 Years of Always Stress with BLESS is an exhibition dedicated to the Paris and Berlin based duo, Bless, a transdisciplinary studio working on the edges of fashion, product design and the gestural (in the form of objects or constellations of objects). Founded in 1995 by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, Bless is often characterised as a person. The products she makes and wears are at once practical, conceptual and surreal, she doesn’t do shows, she doesn’t do exhibitions, rather she transforms these into everyday environments. Her collections resist time and place, whilst embodying and embracing reality—the home, the office, the city, the museum.
Bless, also known as Bless Service, emerges during the 1990s as a fringe, anti-market response to the industry’s peak era, when brands began to permeate and define popular culture at an unprecedented rate. The self-dubbed “situation designers” started out by making garments and quickly expanded into incorporating all things related to shelter.
With their first edition, BLESS Debut (1995), a single transparent nylon tube top titled Suntop, they set the tone for the following decades: minimal collections consisting of variable numbers of designs, heavily characterized by linguistic and visual statements, instructions or narratives that summon reality or potential realities. Bless thus began to create, approaching everything as undefined, from the very structure of a brand to the nature of a fashion show, to the design of a hairbrush.
Through design, Bless asks questions: on the nature of the customer-brand relationship, on what luxury is and means, on the nature of objects. These questions are at once practical, conceptual and anthropological, and inadvertently contribute to discourses beyond their own discipline.
Constituting the first institutional show in Italy dedicated to the work of the designers, the presentation alludes to over 25 years of products, situations, and collaborations, all set in a newly conceived environment, that reflects a 360° of all the shiny and the shady sides of always stress with Bless.
A selection of the presented book archive can be consulted by appointment. Please email email@example.com to enquire about a tour of the exhibition and book consulting session.
The exhibition is promoted by Assessorato alla Cultura di Roma Capitale and Azienda Speciale Palaexpo.
Curator: Chiara Siravo
Exhibition production: Maria Elena Ciullo
Production Assistant: Marco Lo Giudice
Production and Fabrication: Fabio Pennacchia
Design Consultant: Etienne Descloux
Art Handlers: Fabio Pennacchia, Matteo Pompili
Tailoring Assistant: NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti: Matteo Battisti, Alessandro Meli
Heartfelt thank you to Sara Cattaneo, Sandro Magliano, Diego Manfreda, Simon Parris