The https://prereform.shop/ is a moody webshop – it is not sure if it wants to sell you something, or if it doesn’t want to at all.
One reason for the shop is, more or less directly, my smalltime hoarding tendency, which manifests itself both privately and in my practise – oftentimes blurring the lines between them – since objects and materials I collect tend to wander forth and back between my work and my life.
Clothes is a particular category of objects, which I have been collecting and tending to with special zeal since almost always.
From early on I noticed how people confused garments floating around my studio for conceptual artwork.
I’ve also almost always been conspiring to sell my clothes, as a patch up of my precarious economy: their obvious personal value seeming like something I had in my possession, which could be perversely turned. I was, and am, constantly managing a surplus of collected clothes by neurotically gifting them to other people anyway; investing so much thought into that proces that it feels not far from work.
A completely arbitrary format I love working with is printed matter. With printed matter I mean anything from an etching, or a fine artsy photographic print, to a sticker, a pamphlet or a flyer. Actually making websites feels a bit the same too. It has to do with the process of revealing the print after having printed it, getting only then to know what the code turned out to. I also like prints for being multiple, or possibly multiple, an edition even. It means I part with them easily, and that they can be distributed for free or cheap. This distributional easyness becomes a thing in itself.
Prints and thrifted clothes. I haver never been able to decide, is it a perfect combination for a webshop, or is it terrible?
In 2014 Officin were arranging a Christmas exhibition of prints, and asked if I wanted to contribute to it. Being a fan I was super flattered. I asked if I could do a rag of clothes for the show? Made tags (in the style of my grandmothers name tags for clothes) saying: Hannah Heilmann’s Wardrobe, and gave the item individual titles and idiosyncratic prices. It has been an ongoing work-ish thing since. The prices opt for different experiences. While some people feel they’re purchasing quite cheap conceptual work, others think they’re doing a flea market bargain.
Prereform.shop – is technically a practise based research project which I have undertaken while working at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, with the generous support of the Danish Ministry of Culture. It can be thought of both as a work, a distributional experiment, a publication.
With HH Wardrobe – and with Prereform.shop I hope to stage a situation where the experience of buying something, or considering buying something, or even the act of shopping cart abandonment, becomes the thing (more so than the bought thing).
Perhaps you will be thinking with me about consumer habits, and states of consumerism, in a time and place where I am constantly questioning my buying habits, and asking myself to change them. In Danish there’s this expression: ‘at handle mod bedre vidende’. The verb ‘handle’ means ‘to act’ – as in exerting agency – however it also means ‘to trade’ or ‘to shop’. ‘Mod bedre vidende’ means ‘against better knowledge’. So every day when I go to the supermarket, or do other acts of shopping, making choices based on a mishmash of economy, desire and available selections of goods in the shops, I think about this, how I am acting against better knowledge in my buying behaviour, or literally: shopping against better knowledge.