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Hannah Heilmann | Night at the webshop

BORCH Editions is pleased to publish a series of etchings by Hannah Heilmann, marking the artist’s first collaboration with BORCH Editions. Working with master printer Mette Ulstrup, Heilmann has created a portfolio of five etchings that stem from the artist’s research-based practice. The prints encapsulate a perennial topic of the artist’s research – the cultural history of clothing and the desire-driven economy surrounding it.

In her works Heilmann investigates the subject of clothes from various angles: their formation of identity; as a human necessity; and as an entry point to talk about consumer culture and climate challenges. Heilmann’s point of departure splits in two: a personal desire-driven urge to buy, collect, and horde clothes, and on the other hand a profound interest in historical perspectives in the ways people have dressed through history.

Clothes play an essential role in my artistic work. Not just as costumes or props, but also as a type of object that behaves in certain ways, connecting the private body with an extensive net of cultural capital and consumer economies.

Hannah Heilmann

With a particular fascination of floral dresses by the English brand Laura Ashley, Heilmann points to a fetishization of the past. Laura Ashley became popular in the 70s and 80s with their romantic dresses in late 19th century style, as a derailment of contemporary trends. In Heilmann’s work however, the focus on these dresses points to the history of postcolonial economy and industrialization: how the history of textile production is intertwined with the history of colonisation.

In the portfolio Night at the webshop, romantic dresses are humanized, with confrontations taking place between stick people and dresses, attacking each other – however sometimes they also seem more unified, working together to drag clothing racks like worker ants. A grid appears in some of the prints, referencing shop windows and the rigidity of display in web shops, as well as associating the whiteness of the online shopping experience with the intertwined history of actual shop spaces and exhibition spaces. 

Weather systems, 2022
The dresses are a way of talking about periods as escapism

Hannah Heilmann

19th century dresses daydreaming about the 80´s, 2022
Power! Flax! Work! Someone!, 2022

Learn more about Hannah Heilmann