Some of the biggest names in the art world have come together along with new and emerging talent to form the extraordinary new exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. The latest in the GSK: Contemporary series, AWARE: Art Fashion Identity explores notions of how these three elements interact with one another. Crane.tv spoke to Lucy Orta, co-curator of the exhibition about the way that clothing can be used as a method to convey ideas about our identity.
Lucy Orta is a contemporary artist dividing her time between London and Paris, known for her sculptural work that focuses on the boundaries between architecture and the body. As well as this her repertoire includes work realised through a variety of mediums, for example video and photography. In this video Orta is an intermediary for the thirty participants of the exhibition, giving a perspective on the messages that the clothing aims to convey. In an attempt to encapsulate all the forms of identity from personal and social to cultural that surround society today, the art is varied and striking. The exhibition is divided into a selection of themes to illustrate the diversity of clothing, how its construction, the wearer or the fabric can influence and add to the way it is used to question different notions. There are also variations on the way clothing is used; many of the works incorporate video or performance, further attesting to the link of fashion as art.
Orta explains how the works of Marie-Ange Guilleminot aim to re-imagine the experience of Hiroshima through representations of the victims' clothes. The ideas of history and trauma are present, allowing the poignancy of the piece to come through. Similarly, taking the idea of history and society Yinka Shonibare's work "Little Rich Girls", a series of Victorian dresses made from African fabrics and Ducth wax prints, demonstrates the crossing of culture boundaries but also the historical colonisation of Africa. The exhibition also features works from notable established names such as Hussein Chalayan, Yoko Ono and Yohji Yamamoto.
AWARE: Art Fashion Identity is running until the 30 January 2011 at the Royal Academy of Arts.
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