Women’s fashion is a lens through which we can challenge the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between the ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ self. In A(r)mour: The Defiant Dress I contest the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience; I celebrate sartorialists who do not follow logical criteria — those who seek subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations.
The works of A(r)mour: The Defiant Dress reveal personal narratives that open a unique poetic vein. Multilayered personalities arise from the fragility and instability of the seemingly fragile gossamers with which we wrap the feminine psyche. By emphasizing aesthetics, these works reference post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern; their dramatic form proffering resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.
The work you see here is characterized by the practical in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. Created in the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world,’ these concealing, protecting couverture des femmes bring the tradition of remembrance into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation. Viewers will undergo transubstantiation.
These collected, altered and personal works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka.
Welcome and enjoy.
Charlotte MercerGopnik Gallery, Vancouver, Winter 2018