Wed, November 16, 2011 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts
Hana Sadiq: Fashion in PerformanceDesigns: Hana Sadiq
Choreography: Carrie Ahern
Makeup Production: Sonja Roberts
Hair Styling: Marco Testa
Sound by New Prosthetics
Open to the Public
Private Reception to Follow
Tel.: 917 756 9762
Braiding through movement using Tango steps and forms.
Models walking (with a model walk), partnered with dancers doing an extreme, bastardized version of Tango (filled with braided steps and twists).
The models "pivot" together on the runway--you see the front and back of a look times 2.
The use of clothes to veil and unveil
Human runway—barefoot models on tiptoes. With twists and turns, models walk through the human runway. The visual bodies shift (Nude dancers in colorful wraps)
Colors: multiple, bright, striking, luminous, saturated in the sun
Ornamentation: bold, geometric, reiterative, gold, silver
Apparel: long, flowing, comfortable, sensual, evocative, veiling, revealing, curious
MAKE-UP: ALL OF THE ABOVE
Music: modern, electronic, operatic, symbiotic
Why Fashion in Performance?
Stuff …oh….ok …I see… you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back; but what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean – and you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002 Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns and then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, who showed cerulean military jackets……and then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers and then it filtered down to the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you no doubt just fished out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when in fact, you are wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of “stuff”.
from The Devil Wears Prada
In The Theory of the Leisure Class, sociologist Thorstein Veblen makes the point that “socially visible” goods accord their owners higher status. The scarcer and pricier the goods and the more useless and lacking in utility, the higher the social standings they bestow. For example, wearing Manola Blahniks or Christian Louboutin – shoes that are impossible to walk in- or owning expensive pets are signatures of the leisure class that marks its status. In turn, the emulation of these practices by the subordinate “others” perpetuates the aura of the leisure class as the vanguard of social advancement and novelty, further consolidating its rank and title.
Aesthetics of appearance create distinctions and divisions, and actively distance one from another. Predispositions in taste are guides to appropriate social positions. By forcing, through education and acculturation, an internalization of preference for particular objects and behaviors, and conversely an aversion for the preferred objects and behaviors of others, fashion and taste are manufactured. Taste is an important example of how distinctions are determined not only by social and economic factors, but also by the accumulation of “cultural capital”, a more clandestine operation for ensuring social and cultural reproduction. In Pierre Bourdieu’s formulation, it influences the pace-or arrest-of social mobility.
The dynamic is clearly seen in colonial relationships. In the Arab world, to a lesser degree in the Gulf, indigenous clothes have been entirely supplanted by western fashion. To extrapolate from Joseph Massad's sartorial analysis in Colonial Effects, the imperial project with its “anatomy of details” understood all too well that “change of clothing signifies that the wearer has abandoned his sentimental attachment to the past. It is an open confession of faith; he seeks to be Europeanized.” Such cultural makeup and re-dress is more than mere aesthetic sensibility, it is a “change of life,” ”new corporeal culture wherein the very movement of the body is transformed, as are one's domestic surroundings, how one sits, how one eats, and so forth.”
In a quick run through the topography of the fashion industry in the Arab world, dominated by Lebanese and Tunisians, one finds an overwhelming borrowing and outright copying of Western aesthetic sensibility. Lebanese designers Norma Kamali, Elie Saab, Reem Acra, Abed Mahfouz have generally come to fashion through other fields. Untrained in the formal grammar of fashion, they found their beginnings in designing wedding dresses, with all their pageantry, ornate embroidery and intensive tailoring. Zuhair Murad, whose designs highlight references to Phoenician and ancient Egyptian myths, is an exception. Like his Tunisian counterparts, Azzedine Alai and Hedi Slimane in particular, he is more vested in formal lines and larger aesthetic goals. The current exhibit of Hedi Slimane at the California Museum of Contemporary Art showcases his fashion mood board or inspirational framework captured in black and white digital photography: the London rock scene, Russian formalism, as well as the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini. There is a new generation of designers, following suit, like the Lebanese Rabih Kayrouz whose creative, indeed astute, designs are fashion lines to be anticipated.
|Zuhair Murad||Azzedine Alaia|
Rarely does one find a designer, however, whose “cross cultural epistemology”, projected onto local heritage, borrowing again from Massad's notion, is able to vividly affiliate traditions, cultural environment and sartorial taste. Good examples are Amina Al-Jassim of Saudi Arabia, and the Iraqi Hana Sadiq. Designs, drawn from the flora and fauna, are strikingly colorful and bright, deploying calligraphy, geometrical floral and vegetal shapes and patterns common in Arabian and Persian aesthetic forms. These historical inspirations have figured in modern dresses and outfits in a very similar way that one finds, for example, medieval or renaissance inspirations appearing in the designs of Etro, Hermes’ prints or John Galliano.
|Amina Al Jassim||Amina Al Jassim|
|Hana Sadiq||John Galliano|
Fashion is a performative utterance: to do things with clothes that exhibit and establish trends. In that sense, it emerges physically as a theatrical piece in relationship to the body. It is an exaggeration and extreme condensation of many scenic elements: the perfect model body, the dancer-like gait, the hairstyle, makeup, lighting, sound. A walk through a dream as it were whose convulsive resonances or violence are meant to punctuate the way we live, dress, gesture and interact, the way we move about and style ourselves.
In conclusion, one has to ask a few questions: why do we express ourselves in clothing? Why does fashion speak our self-representation to the outside world so abundantly? The luxury of the fashion system’s words and slogans, complex network of images and advertising and the schizophrenic desires it creates, that of the calculated buyer and the dreamy consumer, are a major foundation of industrialized commercial society. Is it possible to imagine clothing being bought and produced at the slow rate of its dilapidation? Is it possible not to imagine fashion associated with the excess of the red carpet or royalty? To dull our calculating consciousness, a veil of images and meanings must create a performance - a fashion show - that renews itself annually, semi-annually, whatever the market can sustain, above and beyond the real object of wear, in homage to a sovereign system that is simultaneously capable of declaring fashion as outmoded and reconstituting it anew as the fashion of the time. While analyzing the sovereign structure of fashion is beyond the scope of these introductory remarks, not raising, better yet, intuiting these questions, runs the risk of being unfashionable.
Hana Sadiq is an internationally renowned fashion designer residing in Jordan, and, specializes in the integration of Arab art and designs with the best of contemporary haute couture. Having studied painting with some important Iraqi artists, she went on to study textile design, silk painting and ceramic arts in Paris.
She has designed costumes for many feature films and television series in the Arab world. Hana Sadiq has received a number of international awards for her work including an honorary prize for international fashion in Moscow (1987), Golden Medal in the international cultural fashion summit in Italy (1998), Medal of Best Arab Designer in Athens (1989), Golden Award for best fashion designer in Bahrain (2000-2001), Golden Award for best fashion designer in Dubai (2001-2002) and honor certificate from France (Paris 1998 and Saint Etienne biennale 2002).
For more information, visit www.hanasadiq.com
Carrie Ahern is an acclaimed dance and performance artist based in New York. Her dance work involves extensive research and has taken the form of installations specific to their environment. Sensate, which began as collaboration with Nietzsche scholars, premiered in November 2009. Ahern’s collaborative installation with sculptor Olek premiered at The LAB. Commissions for her work include Danspace Project for The Unity of Skin (2008) and Red (2006)—also commissioned by the Guggenheim for Works-and-Process.
Nationally and internationally, her work has been presented at Baltimore Theatre Project, Danceworks and Walker’s Point Arts Center in Milwaukee, Le Regard du Cygne in Paris and at the Festival OFF in Avignon, France. Ahern has taught at the University of Washington and master classes in improvisation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Her new work, Borrowed Prey, premiering in April 2012, is an investigation of the relationship to the animals that most of us consume. Bringing together four strands of research: hunting, slaughtering, and butchering, plus the work of animal behavior scientists to illuminate more about the “farm to table” process and the human capacity for empathy.
For more information, visit http://carrieahern.com
Sonja Roberts is a model and makeup artist living in New York. She worked in Europe prior to moving to the States, and since then has been involved in photo editorial for independent photographers, in addition to major magazine such as Vogue, Style, Harper's Bazaar and Tattler.
For more information, visit www.sonjamakeup.com
Marco Testa was born in La Spezia, Italy, and studied style at UNFAS, Italy's international hairdressing university. While in college, he trained as a color technician at L'OREAL Paris and upon graduating at the age of nineteen, Marco opened his own salon in Tuscany to rave reviews and an extensive list of clientele. After a stint in London, Marco now lives in New York and is represented by the renowned Bernstein & Andriulli creative agency. in addition to numerous editorial clients, Marco also works on all of the shows at Fashion Week each season. Among his extensive list of clients are Elle and Marie Claire.
For more information, visit http://www.ba-reps.com/artists/marco-testa
New Prosthetics, formed at the start of 2007, is a new music/new media performance duo consisting of Anne Hege and Harrison Owen. Collaborators since the mid-90s, new prosthetics began when Hege moved east from Oakland to begin the doctorate program in music composition at Princeton university. The duo has performed numerous times in New York city at venues such as the Tank and Monkeytown and at Princeton as part of a seminar on text and sound with Amy Neuburg and Mendi+Keith, as well as participating in the final performance for an atelier taught by laurie anderson
For more information, visit http://www.annehege.com/
Last updated: 2011-11-11 11:54:28
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