Friday, November 30th: ‘Upskirt’ Opening Reception

Upskirt
Textile Arts Center Brooklyn (505 Carroll St., Brooklyn)
7-9pm
Free

On display through December 21st

Upskirt is an interactive, fibers-based installation. Five giant dresses hang quietly in the gallery. Austere from the outside, each skirt conceals a fabric explosion within.

Upskirt includes a tableau vivant at the opening reception (Nov. 30) where five white-gloved garçons will lift up petticoats inviting gallery goers inside. The skirts are lowered around guests to completely absorb them into the chambers within. Each interior is inspired by an environment that has traditionally fascinated artists, be it a natural occurrence – the Swamp, the Cave, the Sea – or a less tangible space – Outer Space, Hell on Earth. Here, these scenes are created with unconventional manipulations of fabric drawn from diverse printing and sculpture practices.

Exposed steel bodices suspend the garments, evoking both the lost splendor of historical dress and its repression of the female form. Through the action of physically entering “upskirt”, the pieces confront voyeurism by encapsulating the viewer – and suggesting that the relationship between clothing and sexuality may be more complex than generally perceived.

Upskirt explores domestic crafts as woman’s work, these artforms’ delegitimization through commercial production, and their resulting exclusion from the canon of fine art. By creating fantasy worlds using domestic-cum-DIY techniques, Upskirt confronts the common marginalization of sewn and textile production. The installation recontextualizes this work as a rich medium for subversive expression by placing it in a woman’s most historical hiding place – under her skirt.

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