GSK Contemporary Aware: Art, Fashion & Identity ?· GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art, Fashion & Identity…

Download GSK Contemporary Aware: Art, Fashion & Identity ?· GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art, Fashion & Identity…

Post on 30-Aug-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


<ul><li><p>Lucy Orta / Gabi Scardi- Draft, June2010 </p><p>Aware: Artist texts_ page 1 </p><p>GSK Contemporary Aware: Art, Fashion &amp; Identity Historical Introduction Yoko Ono (Cut Piece, video 1964) Cut Piece is one of many actions that Yoko Ono created as DIAS [Destruction in Art Symposium]. She performed this in 1964, Japan, and again at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1965. Ono sat motionless on the stage after inviting the audience to come up and cut away her clothing, covering her breasts at the moment of un-bosoming. Yoko emancipates the women from their clothing and identity at the same time respecting her feminine body. This sensitive work allows us to dwell on the rise of the feminist movement and art activism, which is one a theme that has inspired many of the artists in this exhibition. Joseph Beuys (Felt Suit, 1970) The original Felt Suit was tailored from one of Beuyss own suits, and can be seen as an oblique self-portrait. For Beuys, the suit was an extension of his felt sculptures, in which the matted fabric appeared as an element of warmth. He explained: Not even physical warmth is meant... Actually I mean a completely different kind of warmth, namely spiritual or evolutionary warmth or the beginning of an evolution. This work allows us to reflect on the spiritual power of textiles and clothing, which has inspired the artists in this exhibition. Cindy Sherman (Doll clothes, 1975) In Doll Clothes we see Sherman disguised as paper doll on her way to the dressing table. But while she watches herself in the mirror a menacing hand appears from off-camera, ripping the dress of the dolls body. Nude again, she is stuffed back in to a plastic sleeve, the straitjacket of conformism and anonymity. The act of dressing up stands for the potential of masquerade and self-transformation, which Sherman was too act as an art principle for the next thirty years. Doll Clothes shows the story of a failure speaking of a creature that does not succeed to attain self-defined subjectivity. Sherman explains the function and menacing: the hand is like the parent telling the child that they are misbehaving and have to stay inside the book. Rosemarie Trockel (Schizo-Pullover, 1988 and Balklava, 1986) Schizo-Pullover : The human need for coupling, as well as the possible existence of multiple personalities, is expressed succinctly in this double-necked sweater. The knitted garment yokes two bodies together in an awkward fashion. The practical point of the sweater is social; but when it is viewed, fully loaded, together with the montage version of a single, doubled wearer, the work ends up insisting that there are fabrics that bind self and other, and are difficult to tell apart. Balklava: we are plural; even within ourselves we are plural, always some aspects hidden, clandestine, both in society, in life, and in our minds and personality. The baklava is a knitted helmet: it once provided protection from the elements, but since the late 1960s it has also been associated with terrorism and is a symbol of clandestinity, violence and fear. Such as in all Trokels knitted works, Balklava and Schizo-Pullover patterns were created with the aid of a computer and manufactured on a industrial knitting </p><p></p></li><li><p>Lucy Orta / Gabi Scardi- Draft, June2010 </p><p>Aware: Artist texts_ page 2 </p><p>machine. Balaklava thus questions and potentially revises the terms of womens work. Opening Yinka Shonibare (New commission tbc) Having described himself as a post-colonial hybrid, Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. To achieve this he employs the brightly coloured iconic 'African' fabrics a four-colour Dutch wax-printed cotton and transposes this onto historical 18/19th century dress styles. Shonibares says of the choice of materials: In fact these fabrics are not authentically African the way people think and they prove to have a crossbred cultural background quite of their own. And its the fallacy of that signification that I like. Its the way I view culture an artificial construct." And, ironically the main exporters of 'African' fabric are based in the UK and in the Netherlands. (Childrens clothes) Salon room 1 Andrea Zittel (A-Z Six Month Seasonal Uniforms 1992-95) Zittels work as an artist is intertwined with her sustainable philosophy of living. Her clothes are both sculptures and functional objects, in particular the apron, which is traditionally the housewives most useful garment. She has hundreds of styles for different occasions, different fabrics, hand-made and died using natural dyes. She also makes organic cloth using traditional felting techniques to make accessories and home wear, where the making of the material is both a ritual therapy and a sculptural expression, recalling the tradition of home craft. She represents a holistic view of creativity where ones environment and identity are interwoven and one of the same. Yoji Yamamoto Ever since I began my career I have always questioned fashion, I could also put it that way: I hate fashion. Fashion sighs after trends. I want timeless elegance. Fashion has no time. I do. I say: Hello Lady, how can I help you? Fashion has no time to even ask such a question, because it is constantly concerned with finding out: What will come next? It is more about helping women to suffer less, to attain more freedom and independence. Sit down, calm down, you are turning in a carousel that moves too fast. Fashion has lost respect of clothing. My job is to regain the respect for clothing. Merchandising and advertising have become too powerful, too dominant during the last few years. I say: Wait a moment, slow down! The acceleration of things prevents thinking about it. Doubts are excluded. All follow. Until everything looks like everything else. A sort of equalization.. Salon room 2 Gabriele Di Matteo (La Nuda Umanit - History Stripped Bare 1999-2010) </p></li><li><p>Lucy Orta / Gabi Scardi- Draft, June2010 </p><p>Aware: Artist texts_ page 3 </p><p>This installation comprises of 200 oil on canvas paintings each measuring 30x40cm, which present selected moments in the history of the Western World: from the prehistoric days of Neanderthal Man, the 'Assassination of Julius Caesar', 'Christopher Columbus Discovers America', or 'The Marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. These uniformly sized paintings are hung salon-style and arranged chronologically. The characters are naked, apart from a single ornament or accessory. Evoked through their nakedness, they appear physically vulnerable, yet they confront the grandeur of historic events. The work questions notions of heroism and progress and explores the power clothing and uniforms have in defining images, in creating icons, which will be transmitted throughout history. (In addition to the paintings, a documentary-style video of the commercial painter - commissioned by Di Matteo to create the paintings can also part of the exhibition). Video mezzanine Kim Sooja (Mumbai Laundry Field) Sooja views the dress as a symbolic material, identifiable "with the body - the container of the spirit." Through her practice of sewing, the artist combines Eastern and Western traditions and transposes elements of Korean culture into metaphors of the universal human condition. The ideas of transience and travel, considered in a literally and existential way, are always present in her works, which range from videos to objects made by cutting and sewing together scraps of old fabrics and pieces of clothing which belong to ancestors. She pays particular the attention to fabrics and to clothes and so to their specific cultural connotations. In Mumbai Laundry Field we are exposed to the global phenomena of fashion where we witness the 10,000 dhobis-wallah at Bombays Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat washhouse, scrubbing several tons of clothes destined for export to fuel our high streets. The open-air laundrette is a ballet of low cast activity, slapping and twisting the fabrics against the granite in thousands of multicoloured pools. Large Gallery * Intercultural Relationships Society, identity, culture are not something static and immutable, nor determined once and for all, but something alive and ever changing Handan Brteene (Waters that Tie/Waters that Untie, 2007) Composed of a long green silk dress encrusted with Byzantine majolica and surrounded by lecterns on which are posed photographs presenting the dress in Istanbul and Venice, it collects the documentation of a symbolic and diplomatic journey amongst the signs of the tormented historical relationship between those two cities. Identity and memory are usually at the centre of Brteenes artistic research such as the common cultural elements of the Mediterranean; </p></li><li><p>Lucy Orta / Gabi Scardi- Draft, June2010 </p><p>Aware: Artist texts_ page 4 </p><p>but she also points at the frenetic contemporary mobility and the practice of photo-souvenir, in which the image has the power to crystallize a presence in a specific time and place. Mella Jaarsma (Shelter Me, The Warriors, or Refugee Only 2003) The sculptural works of Mella Jaarsma are drawn from a sensible attention to life-style and expressive-symbolic aspects of society. She deals with clothes that evoke questions around gender and religious identity, as well as shelters that implicitly re-call the phenomenon of migration and hybridization: mantles-curtains-burka that cover the body favouring its form, while at the same time they protect and constrain, they declare and hide. They are made of organic materials, found out by the artist in the place in which she is working: skins, horns, algae, and scraps of fabric and fragments of military uniforms. Marcello Maloberti (Marcello who arrives by train 2001) The photographs show the portraits of shaven men in an Algerian barber near the main train station in Milan. Here we find specific masculine/macho beauty codes but also the need to find a meeting place, which is a very mediterranean way to socialize. The barbers shop depicts real daily life in global urban context - a place of gossip, where we find layers of society unified under the simple red apron and standard short-back-and-sides. At the same time, the clients are dressed in a standard red apron with the signature of the barbers and portrayed in aristocratic poses. This particular posing evokes the ancient aristocratic portraiture as handed on by history of art; the cloth could be the cloak of a knight or a cardinal dress. In both cases the uniform turns into something magic that indicates social prestige. </p><p>Maria Papadimitriou (Romacoat) Clothing is symbolic and linked to tradition and beliefs. Interested in cultural specificities and in the overcoming of imposed stereotypes, Papadimitriou creates projects characterized by public, social and collective dimension. In her ongoing workshops with the Greek Roma communities, she has created a number of collective projects together with the women; amongst these are the Romadress and Romacoat. The coat stands out as a symbol of the Roma cultural identity, made from the typical eastern-European blankets, evoking the traditional Romany decorative style. Evolving from the nomadic times, Blankets were fundamental to their lifestyle and living quarters of their homes even today they become floor, wall, bed coverings or hangings the Romacoat symbolises bonds between soft architecture, mobility and shelter. </p><p> * Geopolitics The world situation remains contradictory Meschac Gaba (Perruques Architectures 2006) Gaba is interested in the process of cultural transformation, aiming to dismantle every pre-concept of historical and cultural identity, he works against ethnocentrism and in favour of a deconstruction of icons and stereotypes. In Perruques Architectures, Gaba uses braids, traditionally used by African women for their hairstyle, to realize wigs-sculptures that recall the forms of architectural </p></li><li><p>Lucy Orta / Gabi Scardi- Draft, June2010 </p><p>Aware: Artist texts_ page 5 </p><p>masterpieces of western culture as such as the World Financial Centre, the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building. Alicia Framis (China Five Stars, 100 Ways to Wear a Flag, 2007) Based both in Shanghai and Barcelona Framis combines these different cultures in projects exploring the social components of the contemporary city. For China Five Star she asked several fashion designers to make dresses inspired by the Chinese flag. Framis empowers women by presenting them in a national symbol. At the same time this work is seen as a perceptive and critical look at globalisation: how many women today wear clothes Made in China? This work refers to her earlier anti-dog series, a collection of designs made with the Tyvec fabric - fire proof, bullet proof and dog proof. The anti-dog collection protects women from aggressive behaviour and gives them the courage and strength to walk around fearless and powerful. Marina Abramovic (The Family III, 2008) The Family III, Laos is part of the series of photographs The Quiet in the Land. Abramovic depicts an army of beautiful children playing war games, toting guns and dressed in camouflage gear. The reality behind this fictional work is that war is not a game for over 300,000 children worldwide who are direct participants in armed conflicts. Sharif Waked (Chic Point 2003) In the video Chic Point, a series of models show, emerging from a dark background. Zippers, weaved nets, hoods, and buttons serve the unifying theme of exposed flesh. After few minutes, the images of the parade are substituted by a series of Palestinian men who lift shirts, robes, and jackets at Israeli checkpoints. In Chic Point the contradictory interpretations of nudity as a fashion request or as a cause of humiliation puts two worlds one of high fashion and one of imposed closure in a powerful reflection on aesthetics, the body, surveillance, and freedom. Andreas Gursky (Kuwait Stock Exchange 2007) Gursky is something like a cold, impassionate documenter of globalisation and of its flows of data and people, architecture and mass spectacle, of its consensus-based collectiveness. Kuwait Stock Exchange is a digitally manipulated image of men dressed in traditional white Thab and Ghutrah and seen from a distance the human images do not stand out as individuals. The scene is an expression of macro-phenomena linked to global financial and economical power and the uniformity of the clothing is an expression of rigidly codified social roles. Arthur Zmijevski (KR WP, 2000) A group of Czech soldiers dressed in their uniforms go marching down the street in unison. The second time we see them they are marching naked in a closed room. The effect is merely comical. The controlled system no longer has any control over them and they seem to have regained their nationalized bodies. But do their bodies really belong to themselves, is the authority of the army dep...</p></li></ul>