Not one for the predictable, the fashion label Threeasfour will stage a multimedia installation featuring its designs with architecture and video projections on Sept. 15 at The Jewish Museum New York.
The design trio of Gabriel Asfour, Adi Gil, and Angela Donhauser will also stage their fashion show at the museum Sept. 8.
Called “Mer Ka Ba,” the exhibition blends ancient symbols with new technologies including items from Threeasfour’s spring 2014 collection that will feature 3-D-printed textiles made with the architect Bradley Rothenberg. The collection and its environment are inspired by sacred geometry and tile patterns found in synagogues, churches and mosques around the world. Pieces that are presented in the runway show will then become part of the exhibition. The Threeasfour designers are working with Studio Christian Wassmann to build an architectural structure in the form of a six-pointed star, and with the 3-D animation designer Alex Czetwertynski to create video projections of the five Platonic solids. The exhibition will be on view through Nov. 10.
The name references an assortment of spiritual concepts. Merkaba is a mystical form of Judaism; “ka ba” alludes to the Kaaba, one of the holiest sites in Islam and the focal point of the Mecca pilgrimage, and Muraqaba is a Sufi meditation practice. In ancient Egypt, when the hieroglyphs “mer” (rotating light), “ka” (spirit) and “ba” (body) were placed together, they described the energy field through which the soul enters the body and ascends to higher planes. And in contemporary New Age belief, merkaba is a vehicle of transcendence, symbolized as two pyramids, interlaced to form a three-dimensional six-pointed star.
In the museum’s gallery, the merkaba will be seen in customized fabrics, in a temple of mirrors arranged in a flower-of-life pattern and in glowing animations in the room. Presented by The Jewish Museum and the Art Production Fund, the exhibition is organized by Rebecca Shaykin, the museum’s Leon Levy curatorial assistant. Over the years, Threeasfour has exhibited their creations in such other museums as the Musée Galliera — Musée de la Ville, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Mode Biënnale Arnheim.