Anna Uddenberg x Balenciaga: combining the alien with the familiar

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To launch the latest trends born from the collaboration between Balenciaga and Crocs – Crocs Boots and Crocs Madame – the famous fashion company has delivered a particularly suggestive campaign.

The alien and the familiar

At the core of this campaign, where the aim is to combine the alien with the familiar, there are two peculiar sculptures.
The first one displays a light blue mannequin positioned with its hands against a cement wall and its legs spread open on the ground. It appears under a fishing hook which arcs over it and it wears the Crocs Boots model, together with a sort of harness on the back.

Courtesy of Balenciaga and the artist.

The other one, named “Tanya”, features a figure wearing a tartan jumpsuit and harnesses, along with the Crocs Madame design. It appears to be handling a curious stroller, which lacks the seat.
Both these artworks are conceived by the mixed-media artist Anna Uddenberg, and they were staged and photographed by Kristina Nagel on the streets of Berlin.
In addition, the sculptures will be displayed in selected Balenciaga stores in London and New York, as part of Balenciaga’s “Art in Stores” project.

Tanya | Courtesy of Balenciaga and the artist.

Anna Uddenberg

The concept behind the campaign fully applies to Uddenberg’s work, who is known to explore motifs out of the ordinary. Uddenberg focuses on breaking the social conventions and non-written rules of the consumer culture and questions obsolete habits of thought and visual perception, as well as the notion of mental and physical mobility.
She has had several solo exhibitions – among the others, at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles – that investigates how body image and self-staging reflects on class, appropriation and sexuality. In fact, she is most known for her sculptures characterized by female bodies staged in extreme and often sexualized positions. Women stretch and bend in exasperated torsions, disrupting and obliging the bystander to change perspective to observe the artworks, as an active participant. Her works also show partially naked female body parts, which do also emerge from suitcases and pieces of furniture.

Transit Mode – Abenteuer, 2014–16, Lady Unique, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Her concepts highlight that the means of expression of the female identity often tend to objectify women, as they were products to be bought by consumers. The use of Crocs and contorted poses is actually part of a larger inquiry into “basic” fashion styles and their marketing toward women: “I think the link between feminine expressions and conformist consumer options is the idea that it’s done for someone else’s pleasure and therefore it’s connected to victimhood”, she explained to Pin-Up Magazine in 2018.

She undoubtedly is an interesting artist and we can’t wait to see what she will come up with next!

Written by
Valentina Ricci