Friday, July 8, 2011

POST NINETEEN: Viewer Account

I enter the gallery. To the left I see a hanging instillation. From afar I see a configuration of layers, suspended from the ceiling. It looks like a giant filo pastry. I can see some words on the ground underneath the hanging fabric. I can also see two cardboard configurations coming out of one of the cornering walls, and also a poster next to these. I approach the piece closer.

On the floor I see a decal of the work’s title; WHEREING. I also see some more text, which I think reads EMBODIED T-SHIRT, but I cant quite tell as some of the writing is covered by a stack of shaped fabric. The assemblage is made of material films in circular, curved forms. It looks like a valley, or a mountain range. Or maybe the topographic mapping of a volcano. I later come to understand that it is an ascending sequence of horizontal slices through the space of a worn t-shirt, like a flattened birds-eyes view in a way.

Seeing a t-shirt presented in this way makes me think of what could happen on the flats of its space. It’s similar to looking out the window of a plain when taking off. The lands surface becomes vast, the trees and houses become smaller and smaller. The horizontal ground becomes curved and the impression of a terrain is revealed. Why isn’t a t-shirt like this. What could happen in the horizontal planes of a t-shirt. Do things live there? Does something travel there. Am I there? Is my wearing there?

I move into the hanging layers of WHEREING. First I approach a segment of layers suspended from waist down. Here are the cuts of the TROUSERS and SOCKS. Lots of layers stacked against each other - I run my hands against the edges of its outsides - it feels like a ‘mille fois’ dress. I bend over and look into the hollow. I see the depths of the trouser legs and the pair of socks. The right sock blends into the right trouser leg. This is not all together a view I am unfamiliar with, as I often look down into my pair of pants when I am putting them on in the morning. However the construction of is different here. The inside outline is created by edges of fabric cuts (x-axis) not a continuous surface of fabric running un the leg (y-axis.) Why do we intend pattern pieces on the y-axis, why don't we pattern make on the x axis?

I move back to the TRENCH. It is upside down. It floats from about shoulder height, climbing up to the roof. I put on the garment, that is, I stick my head into its emptiness. I look up, and see the impression of trench coat. It is in-between a garment and a type of hanging environment. It has been turned on it’s head, or should I say it’s neck. It’s waist pointing upwards to the sky. It’s usual construction of dressing has been interrupted. It is mid-way through somersault, atypical, unfamiliar and jarring. I gaze up at its space. I see its curved walls, its wiggly hem’s perimeter, the strapped cuffs and the step out of its shield. I can experience it’s space in a new way. Instead of coming to know it through an established experience of it’s touch against my torso, with my sight resting on its outside, these sensations are now inverted. I can presently view the usual space of embodiment with my eyes registering it’s inside.

I move over to the CARDIGAN. Again I put my head through the threshold of its neck hole and look up. When I look around the inside of the cardigan and meditate on it’s experience, I think and feel a few different things. I think about what wearing is. It’s much like a sixth sense, a feeling very particular and specific to the cite of a garments and the body filling it. Wearing is mainly comprised of sight, touch and the way in which these two communicate with each other to create a dialogue/feeling of positioning. I am highly aware of the space I am wearing in upside down cardigan. I am visually aware of the space around my sight in the cardigan, as I am seeing the the act of dress which is usually touched. By wearing the cardi in this way, my vision is dressed. I have a new sense of spacial self and the experience of its embodiment. I have put on a cardigan, wearing a garment and an environment.

I move over to the SKIRT, a dirndl skirt. Again it is upside down. The experience of this garment perhaps explains the process entailed most effectively. Closest to me I see the rounded cut outs of the skirts waist band. As the skirt wall starts to fall - or in this case rise (as it is upside down) I see its small individual flutes and folds. As the layers ascend the skirt perimeter gets bigger and its curves become more fluid, softer and less concentrated. Seeing the movement of the skirt cut and documented in this way, shifts my perception of the space inside the skirt. The usual construction and structure is changed, shifted interrupting my assumptions of the space embodied and giving me a new relationship and consideration of where I am wearing in the garment. I see and feel the weight of the negative space around my in the horizontal fabric. Here dead air has become material and is given a form, a visibility.

I move to the final environment, a T-SHIRT. It is the same t-shirt that I encountered at the beginning. I can tell as recognize the blended shape of its right sleeve, trying to merge into a flute of the skirt. Here is the outside space of that form. The fit of positive to negative between these cuts delineate where I wear. Do I only wear the space within the fabric wall of my clothes, or am I just as connected to the space beyond this wall? Where do ‘I’ end within my garment? Can I wear an environment? Where does wearing end?

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