Fashion show: clothing, art and activism – Announcements

Artists: Anna-Sophie Berger, Alicia Framis, Gluklya, Sibyl Montague, Sinéad O’Dwyer, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Malick Sidibé, Tenant of Culture, Wang Bing, Evelyn Taocheng Wang

Organized by: Chris Clarke and Fiona Kearney as part of the Creative Europe BEAM UP project

Fashion show features work by contemporary Irish and international artists who consider clothing as subject, material and form of advocacy. From explorations of the ways in which fashion lends itself to self-representation to investigations into the economic and ecological effects of ‘fast fashion’, the exhibition reveals how clothing becomes a means of activism and protest.

Alicia Framisseries Is my body public? features images of 14 women holding sheets of sheer fabric, each embroidered with the title phrase in their respective languages. While looking like pieces of lingerie, the dresses are actually demonstration banners, having been worn during the artist’s public performances. Anna Sophie Bergerthe sculpture The wearer of clothes takes the form of a classic ballgown with an underlying iron skeleton similar to historical crinolines. However, a central opening also alludes to tents, suggesting that fashion and personal style can serve as a mode of protection and shelter. Tenant of CultureThe textile works of reveal the relationships involved in the production, distribution and consumption of fashion. His “chore coats” – practical utilitarian outerwear that has become fashionable among middle-class city dwellers – are presented as large sheets of fabric, printed with ready-to-cut outlines of sleeves, collars and vests. Sinead O’DwyerSilicone mesh’s sculptural works use design, sewing and molding techniques to trace the undulations of the female body, challenging its representation as idealized form and singular form.

In Malick SidibeIconic photographic portraits of Malian youth culture, the artist invited his subjects to present themselves in their best, most stylish outfits. Through his Bamako-based Studio Malick, his images capture the particular change in atmosphere as society moved from French colonial rule to independence in the 1960s. Lucy + Jorge Ortathe collaborative practice of includes portable objects that allow participation, communication and interaction between strangers; their series of backpacks are equipped with seemingly ordinary items that refer to various states of emergency. Wang Bingthe film 15 hours was filmed in Zhili, Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, and is home to around 18,000 small children’s clothing factories, manned year-round by more than 300,000 migrant workers. This film documents a day in the life of workers at 68 Xisheng Road in Zhili.

Made from everyday materials such as clothing, rags and wool, Sibyl MontagueThe blanket-like sculptures highlight the domestic and gendered craftsmanship of sewing, wrapping, weaving, quilting and tailoring, taking shape through synonymous acts of care. Glukliainstalling Clothes for demonstration against the false election of Vladimir Putin was originally created for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. The garments are adorned with slogans shouted at protests in St. Petersburg and utopian visions written by the artist and his friends who envision a better and fairer society . Gender, ethnicity and social class play an important role in Evelyn Taocheng Wang‘s work. In Photosynthesisfifty color photographs, each taken in a different European location, show Wang in outfits by French designer agnès b., a sign of Western sophistication often marketed to Asian consumers.

Fashion show is part of Up beam, a project funded by Creative Europe to encourage the participation of visually impaired people in the planning and experience of museum activities. Displays will include a range of touch, navigation and audio assets available in the gallery and online on our website.

Fashion show: clothes, art and activism is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, the Creative Europe Program of the European Union and University College Cork.

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