Volume 1, Issue 1, Article 14 - 2018
A Fashion Exhibit Without Fashion
BY JENNIFER AYRES
In this review, I critically examine the fashion and art exhibition “fashion after Fashion,” April 7–Aug 27, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, curated by Hazel Clark and Ilari Laamanen. The exhibition design was commissioned work by six interdisciplinary artists/designers who incorporated a mix of sculpture, performance, and audiovisual material into their installations. The different installations, taken together and experienced together, acted back and upon each other in interesting ways in the exhibition, which was a strength of the curators’ method; the use of commissions exclusively acted as a kind of artistic method in itself. The first and most notable thing about the exhibit was that there were no clothes on mannequins. While the exhibition’s premise was on fashion, the intentional absence of clothing was a risky strategy the curators pursued to intervene in how viewers think about fashion. The installations were purposely amorphous and abstract as well to inspire a broader consideration of what fashion can be and what bodies can do. Though the relationship between fashion and the body has been a constant topic in fashion scholarship, this exhibition offered a new perspective through commissioning and showcasing the category-defying work of recent fashion and art school graduates and performance artists.
- exhibition review
- modern art