Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Already in full force on the other side of the world in Hong Kong, it appears the UFO-like Chanel Mobile Art Container will crash land somewhere in New York in September 2008, just in time for Fashion Week. The conceptual lovechild of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and architect Zaha Hadid was called a "very elaborate Chanel commercial" by the IHT, but Racked's own first-hand sources didn't mind the commercialism as much as the drone-like rigidity of the tour and the confusing, contradictory messages found in the art—one being the tragedy of making bags out of animal skin, followed by glorification of the leather 2.55 Chanel purse. Speaking of the 2.55, IHT reports further that Chanel is offering the iconic bag in a special Mobile Art edition for $3,000. But that's not the only way Chanel is cashing in...
The tour and program might only cost a small "processing fee" of about 50 cents, but to see the entire exhibit in Hong Kong means following a path from a Chanel store and returning to the store to view other installations. Clearly the idea is to inspire you enough so that you will gladly plonk down a few thousand to buy into such a visionary brand; it's much like having to pass through the gift shop after a museum tour.
Now the local dilemmas: where will they find the space in New York to drop this art container in a location convenient to a Chanel store? How will NY receive its opening during an already hectic Fashion Week? Will the Chanel Mobile Art 2.55 purse trump the Gucci I Send us your predictions, and in the meantime check out our exclusive scans and building specs from the Hong Kong Chanel Mobile Art program issue.
Chanel Contemporary Art Container in numbers (converted from metric):
· The Mobile Art Structure is 95 ft wide, 148 ft long, and 20 ft high.
· It has a total surface area of 2,297 square meters
· The entrance is 420 square ft and includes a terrace, a 213 square ft courtyard, and a 82 square ft coat room.
· 51 tanks are needed to transport the 180-ton structure's 700 pieces by boat
· It will take 20 days to transport the pieces from Hong Kong to Tokyo
· To make transportation possible, each unique piece is no more than 1.2 in thick and 7.4 ft wide
· It will take four weeks to mount the structure at its first stop in Hong Kong, and 3 weeks in the subsequent cities.
· It will take 2 weeks to dismantle the structure.
· Site in Hong Kong: top level of the Star Ferry parking garage
· Site in Tokyo: a field at 2-1-1 Jinnan in Shibuya, beginning July 2008
· Site in New York: currently unknown. Mobile Art opens in NY in September 2008, and we can expect a location announcement at least by July, in the the Tokyo issue of the Mobile Art program.
· Other cities: London, Moscow, Paris (July 2010)
· It's All in the (Chanel) Bag: Art meets fashion [IHT]
· Coming Soon: Zaha Hadid's Orb of Insanity [Curbed]
· Architecture Watch: Hadid's Chanel Pavilion to Travel Stateside [Curbed SF]
· Chanel Mobile Art Opens in Hong Kong [Hong Kong Hustle]
· Mobile Art [Chanel]