Craftivism is an exhibition that involves 14 projects developed by artists and collectives that work with craft-based traditions and activist practices, and who employ the tactics of 'craftivism' (combining crafting & activism) to question the prevailing codes of mass consumerism. Labour Behind the Label worked with artist Stephanie Syjuco to create a workspace in which visitors are invited to rework and remake old and new clothes and question larger issues about systems of global trade, manufacturing and labour rights. Through the exhibition the intention is to collectively produce a limited edition fashion line. The exhibit was showcased at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol in 2009/10. For further information see the Arnolfini website.
Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion
This exhibition was held at the Pratt Institute in New York in 2009/10 to explore the work of artists and designers who seek practical and symbolic solutions to the question of integrating sustainable practices into the fashion system. The exhibition was curated by Francesca Granata and Sarah Scaturro and organized around three main themes: Reduce, Revalue and Rethink, expanding on the traditional ecological mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by acknowledging the importance of aesthetics within fashion design. For further information see the Pratt Institute website.
Nations, Factory and Workforce
This exhibition brought together 3 elements: Indian artist NS Harsha’s installation Nations, which is a witty take on globalisation, market forces and labour outsourcing; Chen Chieh-jen’s film that focuses on an abandoned factory in Taiwan and Artist Shiraz Bayjoo who employs the public and transforms the exhibitions space into a temporary artist-run factory in response to the NS Harsha and Chen Chieh-jen exhibitions. This exhibition was put on by Iniva at Rivington Place, London in Autumn 2009. Please see the Rivington Place website.
Fashioning for Sustainability
This exhibition highlighted fashion´s potential in providing a significant contribution to global sustainable development. Curator Kate Fletcher gathered opinions from international brands, free-lance designers, opinion groups and fashion workers in order to make a survey of this new form of fashion activism. This exhibition was hosted by Garanti Gallery, Istanbul in spring 2008. For more information Kate Fletcher's work please see KateFletcher.com.
Hackers and Haute Couture Heretics: Sub-constructive Strategies in the Fashion System
This exhibition consisted of a series of workshops that aimed to change the world of fashion in small and beautiful steps. The workshops explored and experimented how the fashion concept can be hacked. Otto says that, 'Fashion hacking is a collective enablement where a community shares their methods and experiences on how to reverse engineer fashion. Fashion hacking is turning fashion from a phenomenon of dictations and anxiety to a collective experience of empowerment'. This exhibition was curated by Otto von Busch at the Garanti Gallery, Istanbul in 2007. For more information please see Otto von Busch's website self passage.
Catt Mazza coordinated an international collective of knit and crochet hobbyists who stitched a 14 foot wide blanket of the Nike Swoosh. Each crocheted pixel square acts as a petition for fair labour policies for Nike garment workers. The blanket was delivered to Phil Knight the Chairman of Nike Coorporation in summer 2008. For more information about this project and the KnitPro, a free web application that translates digital images into needlecraft patterns, please visit the Mirorevolt website.
The Clothes She Wears:
The Clothes She Wears is a fashion collection with a difference: Instead of showing the latest models by well-known designers, this original collection shows the actual clothes worn by women who work in the garment industry. Siobhan Wall invited women from eight different countries worldwide to send her the clothes they wear for this unusual, thought-provoking exhibition. The exhibition features a selection of outfits, including skirts, shoes, trousers, handbags and scarves. Stories about the women’s lives are displayed and a free accompanying catalogue is also available.
Caroline Gilbey from UCCA, who hosted the exhibition in March 2007, said , “This exhibition helped to bring the lives and conditions of women garment workers to life for the students. Displaying the exhibition in the main foyer of the college gave it a strong profile and meant that it became a part of the students’ lives for the three week period. Students continually stopped to read the profiles and personal accounts of the women workers whose clothes were displayed on mannequins. One student commented that this ‘made the issues come to life’. Seeing the actual clothes of the garment workers personalised the issues, and brought it home that the way we conduct business in the western world has direct impact on the lives of real people, not just a distant mass.”
For information about how to book the exhibition, contact Siobhan Wall: e: siobhanwall_ at_ yahoo.co.uk (replace _at_ with @) or t: 0031207716241.
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