Textiles map the cultural histories of fashion



“In some form or a fashion”

WHEN – Until March 27

O – The Momentary, 507 SE St. in Bentonville

No cost

INFO – 367-7500, themomentary.org

While preparing for the last temporary exhibition at the multidisciplinary art space Momentary in Bentonville, there was a reluctance to even use the word “fashion” in the title – although it would become “In Some Form or Fashion” . The organizers did not want to deceive the public into believing it was a fashion exhibition in the traditional sense, reveals Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator.

“On the contrary, these artists, through their works which are in a way housed in the art world, reflect on and criticize the fashion industry”, explains Garcia-Maestas, emphasizing the festive nature of “fashion in as art “often associated with clothing or textile exhibition.

The material medium links the six artists presented in the Momentary exhibition at the scale of the building. But so do the multiple layers of meaning and criticism that “begin to converse with each other when installed side by side”.

“All the artists in the exhibition … really think about the socio-cultural implications of fashion,” Garcia-Maestas demonstrates. “Ideas of global consumerism, mass consumption, cycles of colonialism – how do these elements deconstruct or reconstruct these ideas around gender, race and class?” “

Some of these themes also go back to the origins of the Momentary factory. The six contemporary multimedia artists included were invited to react to the industrial architecture of the place to create site-specific and responsive works.

“It was important to me that we not only thought about what the architecture looks like today, but what was the history of the building? And how are these stories integrated into the story we tell through our exhibition? Garcia-Maestas said, thinking back to the start of the exhibition. “Thinking of this site as a former manufacturing workforce site, in particular, I got the impression that there was a good connection to some of the ideas of mass consumption and production going on. produce in the textiles included in this exhibition. “

One such example is found in Pia Camil’s “Skins Shirt Curtain” – a 65-foot-long and almost 10-foot-tall curtain constructed from t-shirts. On the back of the curtain, viewers can find labels with the clothing’s countries of origin while on the front, American slogans, political ads, and logos paint a different picture of consumption and work that could be harmed in their processes.

Likewise, the work of Troy Montes-Michie really “embraced the spirit of the exhibition,” Garcia-Maestas says. Taking a thoughtful approach to the site’s architecture, Montes-Michie’s work feels at home in the space, she says, while also reflecting an element capable (and used to) both publicize and conceal. his race and his sexuality.

“I think it’s helpful for visitors to have the context of these works, but I also just hope that visitors can have fun and appreciate the tactile nature of all of these works,” Garcia-Maestas suggests. “Because it’s hard to watch them and not want to touch some of them even though you can’t touch them. Wendy Red Star’s feather dresses are so beautiful and so fun and vibrant. hanging textiles by Eric Mack are so vibrant, beautiful Hope visitors can find an escape and be able to immerse themselves in textile art, as this is not something the Momentary has had many opportunities to to show.

And it’s a presentation that Garcia-Maestas insists it needs to be seen in person to fully appreciate the visual intricacies and deeper layers on display.

“By the time we came out of this sort of pandemic digital moment, we all got so used to feeling that we can see and understand a work digitally,” she notes. “Textiles just don’t translate very well digitally. It is therefore a truly enriching experience to come and see the works in person. And then those ideas really start to click – because we’re all wearing clothes, right?

“We all have memories associated with specific textiles, colors, materials, textures, and you start to find your own connection to the work,” she adds. “So it’s been interesting; most people I talk to, their preferred setup is different. Sometimes we have exhibitions, and there are clearly favorite works in the exhibition. But I think this exhibit, because textiles have all of these memories and meanings built in, people react very differently. “

Editor’s Note: This is Jocelyn Murphy’s latest What’s Up! as an associate editor, although you’ll see her signing on to a few other articles by the end of the year. We only wish him wonderful things in his new job.

Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside. On the cover: The Momentary’s new original temporary exhibition “In Some Form or Fashion” brings together the work of six contemporary artists to explore the cultural implications of fashion and how identities are shaped by the clothes that individuals buy, wear and wear. to throw. The exhibition will be on display until March 27 at the Bentonville site. (Courtesy Photo / Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside, courtesy of Momentary)
Photo South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube uses vivid colors and playful shapes to explore themes of black subjugation, migration and ideals of beauty. “These stories are stories of liberation, of celebration, of identity,” Garcia-Maestas says of Ndzube’s touches of surrealism in his work. “Simphiwe is very clear about his history which grew up in the post-apartheid era in South Africa. And his perspective as a young artist coming from South Africa, he’s really thinking about how to create these fantastic worlds that touch on that story, but really write a new story and provide opportunities for hope and acceptance. (Courtesy Photo / Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside, courtesy of Momentary)
Photo Interdisciplinary painter and collage artist based in El Paso, Texas, Troy Montes-Michie is inspired by men’s fashion, namely the zoot costume. Her work engages black consciousness, the Latinx experience, immigration and queerness through assemblage and juxtaposition. Montes-Michie’s pieces in “In Some Form or Fashion” were all made specifically for Momentary’s Gallery 3, including this assemblage “This is where I draw the line”, which runs the length of one of the lines. concrete walls of the gallery. (Courtesy Photo / Troy Montes-Michie and Company Gallery)
Photo “In Some or Fashion” really is, says associate curator Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, the first large-scale group show organized in-house by Momentary that spans the entire building. As such, Garcia-Maestas reveals that it was important to her that the exhibit made connections to the building’s own history as a former site of manufacturing labor. (Courtesy Photo / Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside, courtesy of Momentary)
Photo Multidisciplinary artist Pia Camil creates immersive curtains that trace the cycles of global consumption. For her work, she sources second-hand T-shirts that have been made in Latin America, dumped in the United States, and often smuggled across the Mexican border via cycles of illicit trade to avoid taxes at home. export. Camil obtains them in open-air markets where these donated, discarded and discarded clothes are resold in Latin America. (Photo Courtesy / Pia Camil and Galerie Sultana, copyright Claire Dorn)


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