PATINA, the invisible art /online

costume design and textile

April 29 – May 17, 2021

Exhibition of textile designer Tünde Bényei

opens: András Mohácsi, sculptor, set designer, DLA habil. associate professor

Online vernissage is broadcast on FUGA Youtube channel on April 29.

Textile breakdown or aging is one of the most important costume design jobs of the film and theater industry, but as it is a backstage art, it is not so well-known among the public.

The theater and film profession are built on complex, serious teamwork. A costume for film or theatre is never the work of one person alone, many craftsmen of the costume department are working on it until it gains its final form. The textile aging artist is an important member of this team and is the closest colleague of the costume designer, but occasionally consults also with the director, cooperates with the seamstresses, the dressers, the set designer and so on.

Textile aging itself is often called “distressing” or “dusting” by many in the profession, which sounds funny, but it signifies only a sub-technique from the breakdown artist’s broad toolbox, making it a somewhat misleading, inaccurate, and simplistic name.

The creative designer working with the textile must know the structural features and composition of the materials, the chemicals, the textile manipulation techniques, and a wide variety of breakdown tools required for their transformation and the simulation of worn clothing. With this knowledge, as an important co-creator of the costume designer, the weathering artist is a defining creator of the final scenery.  Applying the specific patina fills the clothes with life, introduces time into it, makes the planned outfit authentic, and tells the given story with the aged costume.

If costume distressing is done well, the result is basically invisible: the applied effects and patination become one with the costume, the whole outfit blends into the story, there are no exaggerated, flashy, inappropriate accents. If the patinated, treated garments are authentic, if the illusion of reality is achieved, it does not even occur to the viewer that it was not the events in the given story but the creative hand that shaped the spectacle.

The result is perfect if the work done remains invisible and goes unnoticed by the viewers.

In this exhibition, textile designer Tünde Bényei introduces us to this lesser known but extremely diverse and exciting creative discipline through her many garbs made for theatrical plays and movies, including the aged costumes created for the Academy Award-winning Hungarian film, Son of Saul. She takes her distressed, patinated outfits out of their narrative context to which they belong.
In this way, the work of the breakdown professional becomes finally visible on its own for the public.

Supported by the National Cultural Fund