events exhibition live

04/20/16 WeAr(e) a curated program of wearables


April 20th, 2016
8:00PM – 10:30PM
Place: Chashama/The Urban Garden
Room at One Bryant Park
(43rd St and Sixth Ave)
11:00PM – 2:00AM
Place: Le Bain at The Standard, High Line

The human body has always been a primary subject and/or site of artmaking, and thus, by natural extension, has the skin that encapsulates it. As a result, the textures, technologies, objects that we embellish or enhance our skin with, that adapt us into our environments, as much reflect our own tastes and desires, as they do the society and time we live in. Although fashion and art have always been intrinsically linked in this manner, the notion of the wearable as art, as thinking presented on the body as opposed to on a wall, emerged in the 1950s and 1960s with the birth of the time-based art forms of performance and video. Among the first artists who explored this medium, considering the wearable in their art works are the Gutai Group’s Atsuko Tanaka’s Electric Dress, Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece, Nam June Paik’s TV Bra for Living Sculpture, Lynda Benglis’ Benglis ad, published in the ArtForum magazine and Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm O. By the 1980s through the early 1990s, following the second-wave feminism movement and its interest in subverting the male gaze and confronting gender inequalities in society, the body re-emerged as the direct, central subject of artmaking, whereby this confrontation was communicated. The wearable in art also became a more common occurrence at this time, although it remained a mostly invisible practice until more recently, as the lines separating fashion, art and technology become increasingly blurred. Amongst more recent examples are Ana Mendieta’s Earth Body Works, Rosemarie Trockel’s Schizo Pullover, Vanessa Beecroft’s Living Sculptures, Judy Werthein’s Brincos and Andrea Vander Kooij’s Garments for Forced Intimacy.

The curatorial groups interest in curating the show WeAr(e):
[Wear We Are], showcasing wearables in the contemporary art practice is two-fold. On the one hand, it is linked to Lev Manovich’s defense of fashion and its relevance in today’s rapidly changing world, “It is the beginning of the new century . . . . We want to imagine ourselves anew. If visual art, hopelessly stuck in recycling its recent history over and over, can no longer help us, where can we turn? Enter fashion. Fashion is everything contemporary art is not: it is concerned with beauty; it is more semiotically layered than the most complex Photoshop composite you ever worked on; and it has one ever present constraint…–the human figure. ”
On the other, it is with the intention of situating the contemporary wearable within the canonized history of art, directly linking this practice to its predecessors in the performance and time-based works of the 60s and 70s. In this manner, we acknowledge the act of wearing as well as the wearable objects which are worn, as powerful gestures that merge the body, society, politics, technology and material, and communicate messages that are crucial in the contemporary climate, delivered in a manner that is accessible to a larger audience, beyond the white walls of the gallery.

Contemporary artists participating with their wearables in the live component of the exhibition, scheduled for Wednesday, April 20th, in New York City, include Marco Donnarumma and Heidi Boisvert, Jeff Aaron Bryant / Blaze Ferrer / Asta Bennie Hostetter, Noumeda Carbone, Emma Dorothy Conley, ntilit (with Krishna Christine Washburn), Michelle Cortese, Gautam Kansara, Bryan Pettigrew, Max Steiner and Tattfoo Tan.

curated by:
Burcin Ayebe, Andrea Bass, Lori Brungard, Priyanka Dasgupta, Woojin Lee, Jean Carla Rodea, Erik Sanner, Jennifer Seastone, Emma Yi.

More information, event documentation and reference material can be found @