From 09-01-2004 until 01-02-2004Silke Wawro
The most expensive coat in the world.
The Volksware coat is made out of labels, that are taken from 7.531 different pieces of clothes. The labels present a value of exactly 759.987,20 Euro. The price is the title of this work. The coat questions the meaning of value and product. Millions of objects are designed, produced and consumed. In contrast to earlier days, a product does not only have to serve its function as a tool and as a beautifier of the everyday. Today's products must offer the customer an affordable feeling of happiness achieved through pre-constructed brand identity and fastchanging trends and styles. Ironically, one attempts the construction of their own identity using mass-produced objects, delivered under the illusion of individuality and customisation. This leads to a naive readiness to accept any price: not only for the cotton t-shirt for 500 Euro but also for the bag with twenty zippers for 15 Euro, people are willing to pay. Developed from a tension between the individual person and the society, the sense of value of a product has been lost.
On the one hand there is the need for presenting community membership through the regognition of a brand and on the other hand the need for the unique to present its own individuality. This contradiction leads for a 'hunting in the consumption-jungle for the unique': an almost desperate attempt to find and keep this own identity in the abundance of things. Price does not play any role here.