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akasa gallery, york university

march 2007

There exists a complex, yet complementary, relationship between the scientific body and the aesthetic body, and the many frameworks through which the human body is understood, namely the study of anatomy and the construction of clothing. The female body, especially, is often placed within these frameworks - very much a social, public force acting to shape individual identities. Similarly, the development of identity is tied to ideas of change and transformation, and what exists as reminders of previous stages and phases of individual as well as collective identity.

collapsible is a collection of works which explore these concepts. I am interested in the idea of the empty garment and the tension between both presence and absence it suggests. The garment works exhibited are constructed from secondhand, cast-off clothing or fabric patterns, speaking to a nostalgia - each piece has its own history, its own life, which existed before its present form - akin to a shed skin. The ribs work in a similar way, referencing a shape and a structure, yet emphasizing its absence. There is an emphasis on perceived functionality in the clothing, as well as the rib structure, that suggest they can be interacted with - tried on, rearranged, reshaped or simply felt for their tactility. They are at once strong and fragile; existing in our specific time and space, yet referencing another; speaking to individual, as well as collective experience and perception.

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