JohannaZanon2_Credit_Clarion Hotel Oslo_

Johanna Zanon      

Credit: Clarion Hotel Oslo/ Marikafoto

As Handsome as the Chance Encounter – Curator guided tour

RAM invite to a guided tour in the exhibition As Handsome as the Chance Encounter by curator Johanna Zanon, Saturday 29 February, 2pm. The tour will be held in English.


Contemporary fashion and art meet in this exhibition inspired by the poem Les Chants de Maldoror (1869) by the Comte de Lautréamont, showing for the first time in Norway, creations of Paris-based fashion designers – Clinique Vestimentaire, Coralie Marabelle, Mansour Martin, and Proêmes de Paris – together with works of both French and Norwegian emerging artists – Grégoire Motte, Jara Marken, Pia Antonsen Rognes, and Steffen André Nilsen.


‘Chance was a decisive factor in making this exhibition,’ writes Zanon in the catalogue for the exhibition. A combination of events resulted in the accidental encounter of two projects originally conceived separately, one on Paris-based emerging fashion designers, and another on small art objects and limited editions by young Scandinavian artists. Their timely encounter confirms the merit of creative constraints. It was while looking for a way to bring together two bodies of work that seemed, at first glance, totally alien to each other that Zanon reminisced the famous quote from Les Chants de Maldoror: ‘as handsome [...] as the chance encounter upon a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.’ Could the exhibition space become the dissecting table of fashion designs and works of art?


Johanna Zanon (b. 1988) is a curator, researcher, and art concierge currently based in Oslo. She was trained at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (2011) and the École Nationale des Chartes (2012), both in Paris, before she became the archivist of the Galeries Lafayette department store, where she managed heritage projects. In 2014, she moved to Oslo to write her doctoral dissertation on the revival of haute couture brands, for which she was awarded a PhD in history in 2017. Besides publishing numerous academic papers on fashion history, Johanna Zanon has pursued curatorial projects like a series of films about French fashion for Cinemateket i Oslo ('Siste skrik fra Paris', 2019) and the 'After "After Munch"' programme for Clarion Hotel Oslo (2019-2020), where she works as art concierge since July 2019. She has been invited as a curatorial resident at Praksis Oslo (2020). 


The exhibition is generously supported by Oslo Kommune, Institut Français de Norvège, Clarion Hotel and Tidvis.

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