What in the World Is ‘Garmenting?’ – WWD

The Museum of Art and Design in Manhattan is preparing its first global survey of the apparel phenomenon.

This term refers to the use of clothing as a visual medium talent. Even guest curator Alexandra Schwartz isn’t sure exactly where the “garments” come from. She first heard the term from artist Saya Woolfalk, with whom she gave a solo performance about 10 years ago. “She wasn’t sure where it came from either. She uses it to talk about her work. When we talk about a title for [MAD] show, I asked her if we could use her term. She said for sure,” said Schwartz. “It works pretty well to describe the phenomenon.”

Woolfalk’s use of the costume to address issues of hybrid identity and cultural difference was the inspiration for the show, as was the experience of Schwartz’s previous campus curator at MoMA implementing the show. Louise Bourgeois exhibition combines the artist’s work with old clothes. “Then I started to see a lot of artists using the garment – ​​in museums, in talent fair. It’s not really theorized or historicized except for a few small exhibits. “

“Apparel: Costume as Contemporary Art” will be shown from March 12 to August 14 at the museum. Works by 35 emerging and emerging artists will be featured, including several who will have their US premieres for the first time. Each person has made or altered the costumes to create garments, sculptures, installations and performance art. In addition to Woolfalk, Mary Sibande, Zoe Buckman, Yinka Shonibare, Jeffrey Gibson, Nick Cave and Jacolby Satterwhite are among the artists that will be noticed.

“Artists today are thinking in all different ways, using all kinds of media, and are thinking across disciplines. I’m interested in this dividing line between art and fashion, art and design. Now it’s especially topical because so many artists are learning their personal and cultural history and how they dress,” said Schwartz.

An installation by Zoe Buckman from 2016.

Zoe Buckman’s installation “Every Curve” from 2016.
Courtesy of MAD

The aim is to use dress as a means to examine issues of subjectivity, identity and difference. The work will be exhibited under five themes: function, gender, activism, cultural difference and performance. Sibande’s life-sized “Domba Dance” is a favorite of Schwartz’s. Another highlight is a hoodie covered with silk flowers, rhinestones, sequins and jewelry by Devan Shimoyama in tribute to Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black teenager who wore the hoodie when he was wearing it. he was shot dead by George Zimmerman in 2012.

“Devan Shimoyama is a multiracial artist and he, like many people, was deeply saddened by the murder of Trayvon Martin,” Schwartz said. “… Shimoyama took a found hoodie and the flowers, sequins, and other decorations allude to how there are these impromptu memorials springing up around the world where people carry bouquets of flowers, confectionery, etc. He is taking them and putting them together this very moving and poignant work. ”

Acknowledging how fashion exhibitions increasingly speak much larger messages than apparel, Schwartz, an art historian, said: “In art museums, at least, there is a sense of it. that with what’s going on in the world, curators and other museum professionals really want to be involved in it and help people process what’s going on to create exhibits that people have can relate to and touch their lives or make them see their lives in a different way. What was once an encouraging byproduct of the pandemic has seen how much people really need art and design and something bigger than themselves to help understand what’s going on. ”

The manager’s “greater urgency” to engage with larger issues is due to “trying to relate art to our daily lives and experiences, which currently includes what is politics, the suffering and isolation caused by COVID-19” and social justice issues, Schwartz said.


“The Domba Dance” by Mary Sibande.
Courtesy of MAD

Well aware of the intersection of art and fashion and the myriad collaborations between artists and fashion designers, Schwartz says: “Artists are looking for fashion and designers are looking for fashion. art. All of these principles are becoming much more intertwined than they have been recently. Although there is historical precedent for that, of course. “

Schwartz wondered if the onslaught of collaboration had reached a breaking point. Questioning how much of that is a trend, she said: “Certainly, everyone can reap commercial benefits. More broadly, art and fashion are inextricably linked and always have been.”

Concerned with the serious historical issue of clothing that Schwartz tackles, she notes that online shopping and fashion provide respite. “I’m also happy to have a little bit of relief and fun with fashion.”

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/garmenting-museum-arts-design-new-york-1235026736/ What in the World Is ‘Garmenting?’ – WWD


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