ART ENCOUNTERS in Timisoara has announced its 2019 edition set to open on September 20th. Two years ago, I reported from Romania for Forbes in “When Politics is Culture” noting 100+ artists engaging fields as seemingly divergent as vegetable pickling, wartime archaeology and public sex. Looking forward to this fall, I want to look back at six artists whose work in “Life: A User’s Manual” (Art Encounters 2017 theme) fit within the fashion and beauty category in its widest & wildest implications.
Ana Lupaș: Identity Shirt & Seraph Shirt (1969-70)
Layering textiles, hair, lint, sweat, blood (and I guess, tears), the artist embodies these meta-garments with aspirational force inherent in high fashion and fervent faith.
István Csákány: Coat Stand (2013)
Vlad Gheorghe Cadar: Testing Reality (2013-present)
Plastic flowers and glossy magazine cutouts re-assemble as garments to cover up all the “holes in our hearts”… This goes on the list of my favorite post-fashion coats.
Pusha Petrov: Marsupium a Main (2010)
Intimacy, anatomy, identity, cosmetics, office supplies, car keys… The kitchen sink of who (do we think) we are is brilliantly observed in these overhead images of handbags.
Julien Prévieux: From October to February (2010)
Digital algorithms outsourced to manual labor?! The reversal of production patterns in these sweaters (hand-knitted on the basis of archived data) was a delightful soft touch.
Ana Adam: It Rains in Me as Much as It Takes (2017)
Anyone could wash anything using hand-made soap with provocative statements. Curator Diana Marincu helped documentarian Boris Mitić and I with “perhaps I was a little more conscious than a weed”. Perhaps, when it comes to being manipulated by the beauty industry, we all were/are.
I had a fantastic, thought-provoking time at Art Encounters in Timisoara. Thank you to Diana Marincu, Ovidiu Șandor, ArtPress and the entire AE team! See y’all in the fall.