Franz Schmidt: Weaving Fabrics for Suits

FSPressWhite2Franz Schmidt, Research Fellow At Oslo National Academy of the Arts, opens the exhibition Weaving Fabrics for Suits in Oslo Kunstforening 13 March. This exhibition includes installations consisting of textiles, garments, archive materials, photographs and texts.

When a weaving mill closes down operations, machinery and equipment are left standing. They might be disposed of, or become part of a museum collection. What kind of value do these items have? What about the knowledge that gets lost when companies go out of business? What value does it have?

For Franz Petter Schmidt, the history of the Norwegian textile industry is fundamental for his work. During the fifteen years that have passed since he was a student in the Arts and Crafts department at the same school, he has, among other things, worked for several years at the Sjølingstad Woollen Mill, near Mandal in the south of Norway. This mill now operates as a museum. The history and the production of this specific mill have served as background for several of his exhibition projects.

The exhibition Weaving Fabrics for Suits at Oslo Kunstforening marks the closure of Schmidt’s work as a research fellow. In the exhibition Schmidt has brought out various objects and stories from weaving mills, some that are closed down and others that are still in business, in order to focus on our valuation of both material and immaterial cultural heritage. It also includes suits sewn by tailors and designers, made of fabrics Schmidt has produced in the weaving mills with which he has collaborated.

By working with the staff at weaving mills and with fashion designers, Schmidt¹s work represents a living past heading towards a future where more and more countries experiencing outsourcing are trying to build a bridge between knowledge acquired through generations and a future with greater awareness of quality and origins.

  • Venue: Oslo Kunstforening
  • Exhibition opening Friday 13 March at 6 pm
  • Exhibition period 13 March to 19 April
  • A conversation between Jorunn Veiteberg and Franz Petter Schmidt will be held Thusday 14 April at 7 pm.

Franz Petter Schmidt (b. 1969) is educated as a men’s tailor and has an MA in textile art from KHiO. He has had several solo exhibitions, and has a varied work experience both within the Norwegian textile industry and from collaborations with colleagues in the fashion industry. Schmidt has also worked as a craft consultant in South Africa and Swaziland.

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