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A Way Beyond Fashion curated by Robert Punkenhofer

291 Church Street, 212-431-5270
Tribeca / Downtown
September 16 - October 24, 2009
Reception: Wednesday, September 16, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Opening reception: September 16, 6-8 pm Including a live performance by Liquid Loft

Participating artists and designers: Acconci Studio, Hussein Chalayan, DJ MIRA, Carla Fernández, Rudi Gernreich, Terence Gower, Edwina Hörl & so+ba, Liquid Loft, Jenny Marketou, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Takehiko Sanada

In parallel to New York Fashion Week.

Art and fashion’s influence on the definition of society, identity and culture as well as the relationship between fashion design, cultural engagement and performative action constitute the thematic core of the exhibition A WAY BEYOND FASHION.

One starting point for conveying an artistic claim in the field of fashion and fashion’s function as an identity-building, social, technical and aesthetic genre can be found in the work of the late designer Rudi Gernreich. He is recognised as one of the 20th century’s most influential fashion designers and was responsible for creating Total Look and Unisex fashion. Rudi Gernreich’s designs break through the limits of fashion.

A WAY BEYOND FASHION showcases designers who explore questions of individuality as well as artists who work with identity, socio-cultural and interventionist issues and whose works analyse the dynamics of a globalised fashion world. Fashion as the interface between the individual and society, between art, architecture, technology and design. Fashion acts as a social skin through which the natural confines and limits of the body can be surpassed. Transience and variety, the confrontation with the individuality and also the anonymity of a media-driven fashion industry gives artists and designers an opportunity to articulate innovative concepts. In contrast to the everyday relationship the consumer has with fashion, A WAY BEYOND FASHION deals with the questions of our society which are rooted in complex issues of identity as well as ecological and technical developments.

What do art and fashion reveal about the state of society and culture? What changes to society are artists striving to trigger when they employ the language of fashion? What are the issues for society that fashion designers seek to address? Which new cultural genres arise from the interplay of fashion and art? How does fashion influence or define cultural identity?
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