Stéphanie Baechler (b. 1983, Meyriez, Switzerland) is a Swiss artist currently based in Amsterdam.
Baechler is trained as textile and fashion designer at HSLU Lucerne University of Applied Arts with a Masters degree from the ArtEZ Academy of the Arts in the Netherlands, and worked as a Textile Developer / Design Assistant for Hussein Chalayan in London.
Baechler's work investigates fashion's formal and structural vocabulary, its production process and its complex relationship to the body, the self and society.
After training and working as a textile and fashion designer, Stéphanie Baechler began to question the way the fashion industry operates. Primarily engaged with sculpture and installation, she experiments with ceramics in combination with other materials in order to create an abstraction between two and three dimensional objects. With the architecture of clothing as a foundation, Baechler petrifies the various stages of dress construction in clay. By doing so, she investigates fashion's formal and structural vocabulary, its production process, and its underlying codes. At the heart of her artistic research lies her interest in the interaction between objects, their movement, and the spaces they inhabit. With this, she closely examines the inherent binaries media such as ceramics and textile present - their susceptibility to being light, heavy, soft, and hard.
Elisa DE WYNGAERT
I take fashion's formal and structural vocabulary as a resource, as well as its production process and its complex relationship to the body, the self and society. The seam lines, darts and curves of clothing are translated into ceramic sculptures and installations. Delicate structures based on fabric patterns abstract the body; the clay 'line' shapes a spatial absence. In this process of displacement I question the limits of an object's materiality.
After training as a textile & fashion designer and working in the fashion industry, I began questioning the way the entire industry operates. Rather than arguing against what I had observed in the field of fashion, I choose to investigate the framing of the body and the processes of its construction and deconstruction.
My practice has developed towards sculpture and installation, therefore I have developed ceramic technologies and explored them in combination with other materials in order to extrapolate and search for a novel abstraction between 2D and 3D. This method of exploration is a key factor in the elaboration of a grammar of elements influenced by all the components that come into play in fashion's construction of the human figure. By dismantling patterns of dress and solidifying them in clay I uncover the underlying notions of desire, of construction of the self, coding and the narratives inherent in the initial material.
I am intrigued by the relationship between objects and the space they inhabit. My work is an investigation of materials, their appearance, characteristics, peculiarities, possibilities and limits. The tactile dimension and the interaction between the object and movement lie at the heart of my research.
Currently I am investigating the complex issues social media are triggering and changing in human behaviour. My intention is to question and research the motivations leaning under people's perpetual need for approval in today's social media landscape. I am converting the template of the application: instagram into a three-dimensional artefact using different medias.
I find myself in between textile and ceramics, feeling strong in both mediums. Each of them carries different potential as well as the quality and I see the strength in this contrast. With ceramic I solidify, with textile I have the fluidity.
Through fashion I shifted into ceramics. My work has developed towards sculpture and installation. In opposition of today's speed and quick posts, ceramic is very laborious and being very impatient, it forces me to slow down. It is the paradox of the ceramic material that deeply fascinates me - which stands for permanence or even eternity and being one of the oldest crafts, it's strong and fragile at the same time. Since a lot of my pieces broke I came to the result I need to take extra care or find better packing systems. Nevertheless I started doing my own padding systems, which leads me to incorporate my own textiles and create support forms for my pieces. These structures are simultaneously new presentation forms. There I am interested in the opposition of light / heavy as soft and hard.