April 2009 Archives

There's their here.


What is it about getting back home? There's that moment in which your mind confirms that you and your house are together again after being separated. It's a moment often unremarkable, because unless it does NOT happen it doesn't seem to need attention. Certainly we rarely pay attention to that moment when it's about someone else having it, except as when we're somehow told to notice, in a film or story. But for ourselves, there's a proximity, even a boundary, and a scene, at which we feel, beneath thinking, that we're "at" home again instead of "away" from home; some signals that blend to switch "there" into "here".  I'll get it at my place, and at some place that I protect, like a friend's. But other people's places seem to persistently be "there", even when close. Taking a picture of the place, and taking that picture away from that place, turns up the tension on that point Walking around, I wonder if I can guess, with a picture, what they see when they hit that point right between "it's there" and "I'm here"...


























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Copyright 2008 Malcolm Ryder



















Copyright 2008, 2009 Malcolm Ryder

top pArt


Send in the clowns.

Victor & Rolf annoyed Style.com a couple of years ago by blowing a bundle on making the front row audience ask themselves whether they were being sent up by what was sent out.

Lots of times the runway recalls the fable of the emperor's new clothes, wherein the brutality of high attitude is lit up by an audience.

V&F flipped it all around by exhibiting the 'tude itself. The show's tactics hyped the audience's dutiful but smug scrutiny with its lighting of each piece, in effect having the models suggesting the foolishness of the audience.

Each model came equipped with exclusive local lighting stuck on her head. Audience members who weren't sure about whether or not they'd just been punked kinda hadda decide whether to play along or not.

I wasn't there, and when I look at the pictures of the show I keep wishing that the shoulder scaffolding had attached flashing cameras instead of spotlights to the sashaying sirens.

But in another way, the in-your-face matter-of-factness of the spotlights is better. I'm warming up to its frank wierdness, without mistaking it for references to Gaultier or paparazzi.

Getting confrontational with the cult of being seen is one of those things that usually gets pegged as "performance art". I have always thought that phrase was backwards and should have been "art performance", as opposed to sports performance or business performance and cetera. Pushing beyond fashion performance into art performance should not be difficult for a free-wheeling designer. In this vein, it's not so big a deal to have a fashion show take another swipe at saying "haute means the clothes are about the clothes, not about you." What's funny about it, in a Don Rickles kind of way, is the teen-level irony in saying "the only reason this gimmick is meaningful is that you don't want it to be." In other words, what's cool about it is that it's uncool.

Score: Audience 1; Emperor 1.  However, I should mention that it seems Fashion, true to form, didn't hold on to this gimmick very long at all, and despite being officially in the Ready To Wear category, the getup didn't really hit the streets.

See also: propellerhead; beer helmet.