Press Release

Bard Graduate Center Announces Fall 2019 Artists in Residence Programs

New York, NY
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Programs Draw Connections Between Contemporary Artists and the Exhibition French Fashion, Women, and the First World War, currently on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery through January 5, 2020

Bard Graduate Center today announced its complete line-up of Fall 2019 Artists in Residence (AiR) programs, which have been designed to bring artists into conversation with the Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s current exhibition, French Fashion, Women, and the First World War. The work of these artists animates the BGC Gallery as a living space and draws connections between the exhibitions on view and contemporary art making. Fall 2019 AiR programs include a pop-up exhibition, maker workshops, and performance lectures, as well as a runway show exploring the history of counter-fashion. Artists in Residences include Chicago-based designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Los Angeles-based artist Maura Brewer, who together form the counter-fashion collective, the Rational Dress Society; New York-based artist, writer, and editor Emily Spivack, and New York-based artist and material culture researcher Ellen Sampson

Rational Dress Society (Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Maura Brewer)

In Residence September 20–30, 2019 

The Rational Dress Society (RDS) is a counter-fashion collective founded by Chicago-based designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Los Angeles-based artist Maura Brewer. During the RDS’ residency at BGC, Glaum-Lathbury and Brewer will continue work on Make America Rational Again (MARA), a project that builds on the success of the RDS’ JUMPSUIT—an open source, ungendered monogarment meant to replace all clothes in perpetuity. With MARA, they will work with experts in the field of textile recycling to transform a collection of used and discarded Ivanka and Donald Trump brand garments into new material. The reconstituted refuse will ultimately be made into new JUMPSUITs and sold to raise both awareness and funding for garment workers’ organizations. While in residence, RDS will offer two opportunities for public interaction:  

Make-Your-Own JUMPSUIT

September 21, 2019

$45 

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to construct their own JUMPSUIT, the collective’s signature monogarment intended to replace all clothes in perpetuity. As participants construct their JUMPSUIT, RDS will lead lectures and discussions about the origins of modern counter-fashion and the contemporary garment industry. By the end of the workshop, each participant will have learned to read and prepare an industrial pattern and will have begun the process of cutting and sewing their very own JUMPSUIT.  

The Rational Dress Society Presents a History of Counter-Fashion

Co-Presented by Bard Graduate Center and the Museum of Arts and Design

September 28, 2019

General $10; Students/Seniors/BGC Members $5  

The Rational Dress Society Presents a History of Counter-Fashion is a performative runway show and lecture presentation that chronicles a history of revolutionary counter-fashion from the late 1700s to present day. Accompanied by an original score composed by Michael Webster, the runway show and lecture will present garments such as the Black Panther Party uniform and the monokini, and consider their respective roles in the history of counter-fashion. The show features 10 models, each wearing counter-fashion from different historical periods, ranging from 1900 to 2000. 

Tickets are available for purchase at madmuseum.org/events/rational-dress-society’s-history-counterfashion.  

About the Rational Dress Society

Maura Brewer received her MFA from UC Irvine in 2011 and was a 2014-2015 Whitney Independent Study Program fellow. Her videos and performances have been exhibited internationally. She teaches at Art Center College of Design. 

Abigail Glaum-Lathbury is assistant professor of fashion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For the past ten years, she has produced ready-to-wear collections under her labels Elmidae and Abigail Glaum-Lathbury. She has participated in many juried markets and showrooms, selling her collections internationally. 

JUMPSUIT is disseminated in two forms, as a premade garment and an open source pattern, available to download free of charge. Rooted in the visual language of denim and the history of workwear, JUMPSUIT imagines the possibility of an egalitarian garment, liberated from the signifiers of class, race, and gender that inscribe our usual relation to clothes. JUMPSUIT accommodates 248 different body sizes, using nongendered terminology. The design draws on histories of revolutionary fashion, from the Sans-culottes movement of the early nineteenth century to the Futurist TuTa of the 1910s. JUMPSUIT accommodates a wide variety of body types while preserving a manufactured sameness among individual wearers, thus drawing upon histories of feminist and utopian garment design. JUMPSUIT is a wearable garment, but it is also a conversation—a collective reimagining of our relationship to dress. To this end, the Rational Dress Society organizes lectures, performances, and make-your-own-JUMPSUIT workshops to facilitate public debate around questions of fashion, identity, and consumption. 

Emily Spivack

In Residence October-November 2019

Pop-Up Exhibition: WHY DID THE JALAPEÑO PUT ON A SWEATER?

November 12-December 2, 2019

Emily Spivack is an artist, writer, and editor whose work draws from contemporary culture, clothing, history, and our relationship to everyday objects. Her residency will culminate in a pop-up-exhibition, WHY DID THE JALAPEÑO PUT ON A SWEATER?, which will present a compendium of clothing-related jokes that references the classic joke-a-day desktop calendar. Every day during the exhibition, a new joke will be revealed. For the past year, Spivack has been building an archive of these jokes as an antidote to the seriousness of fashion. 

The pop-up exhibition will be on view on the 4th Floor of the BGC Gallery.

About Emily Spivack

Spivack is the author of Worn in New York (2017), a contemporary cultural history of New York told through clothing, which is a follow-up to her New York Times best seller, Worn Stories (2014), and wornstories.com (2010), collections of stories about clothing and memory. In her column for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, “The Story of a Thing,” Spivack interviews cultural figures about objects in their homes that provide insight into their interests and quirks.

As artist in residence at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York (2017–2018), Ms. Spivack invited visitors to contribute to “An archive of everything worn to MoMA from November 1, 2017, to January 28, 2018,” a project that is now a permanent part of MoMA’s Archives. Her 2017 off-site installation for the Honolulu Museum of Art, “Medium White Tee,” was a fulfillment of President Obama’s stated fantasy to run a T-shirt shack that sold only medium-sized white tees as a respite from his nonstop decision-making.

For more information: please visit: emilyspivack.info.

Ellen Sampson

In Residence September 2019–January 2020

Pop-Up Exhibition: Emotional objects: gloves, handkerchiefs and material culture of grief

December 6, 2019–January 5, 2020 

Ellen Sampson is an artist and material culture researcher whose work explores the relationships between bodies, memory, and clothing, in museums and archives and in everyday life. She notes that the First World War catalyzed multiple shifts in women’s lived experiences: changes in social structure, employment, and dress practices. The spaces women occupied, the roles they played, and the ways they dressed all changed, so that as war ravaged Europe, their tactile and sensory experiences were shifted and reframed. It was equally a period of previously unparalleled loss, of lives and of behaviors, of futures and of traditions; so much so that it is hard to think of the material culture of that period as anything other than the material culture of loss.  

During her residency and through the pop-up exhibition, Emotional objects: gloves, handkerchiefs and material culture of grief, Sampson will explore the material culture of this change and loss through two everyday objects: the handkerchief and the glove. They are emotional objects, artifacts required to convey, stand in for, or embody emotion. These artifacts, mundane, yet overdetermined, are bound up with the etiquette and traditions of courting and mourning, of private and public, of work and of war. They are souvenirs, love tokens, and mementos, deeply entangled with performances of love, labor, and grief. Despite their ritualized and socially proscribed mode of use, gloves and handkerchiefs are also deeply personal and tactile objects, often understood as indivisible from those who used and wore them. They are bodily objects, objects that stand in for absent bodies. 

The pop-up exhibition will be on view on the 4th Floor of the BGC Gallery. 

About Ellen Sampson

Ellen Sampson holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art. Using film, photography, performance, and writing, she interrogates the ways that garments become records of lived experience. She looks closely and makes close-up images to engage with the intricacies of wear, gesture, and trace. In exploring the resonance of worn and used artifacts, she seeks to uncover how attachment to the material world is produced and maintained. She was the 2018–19 Polaire Weissman Fellow at The Costume Institute - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, working on a projected titled “The Afterlives of Clothes.” 

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