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The Fabric of Felicity

Date

From 12 September 2018 to 27 January 2019

Hours

11:00–22:00

Place

East Gallery

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presents The Fabric of Felicity, an international project showcasing clothes in art outside the context of the fashion industry. The exhibition spans five continents and features over forty artists, including representatives of historical avant-gardes, members of the Soviet and Brazilian underground art scenes, and new generation artists from Russia, Japan, USA, Zimbabwe, and other countries.

The geography of the show is built around twenty-first-century “silk roads:” the intercontinental transport routes and production cycles of raw materials, textiles, and ready-to-wear garments from democratic global brands. Based on a series of research trips stretching from Sweden to Bangladesh by way of Ivanovo (Russia) and Biella (Italy), The Fabric of Felicity undermines stereotypical notions of East and West, Global South and Global North, and suggests an equality of artistic media, methods, and traditions. The juxtaposition of an Indian folk painting based on India’s main epic poem, the Mahabharata, and a massive textile sculpture by American artist Beverly Semmes is just one example of this crossing of cultural borders. Such cross-cultural outreach is necessary work in the context of Russia, where identity politics tends to be based on uncritical Occidentalism or sentimental Orientalism.

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Here we’ve put together materials to help you get ready for a visit to the Museum or to take a deep-dive into the themes of current exhibitions and programs at Garage.

Public program
The public program for The Fabric of Felicity includes lectures and discussions with Russian and international researchers, and events exploring fashion and theories of fashion through connections between the human body, clothes, culture, museum practices, and curatorial strategies.

On the day of the opening, visitors are invited on free curator-led tours of the exhibition. The program of lectures will feature talks by Fashion Studies pioneer Valerie Steele, professor of Fashion History and Theory Caroline Evans, and director of Collection and Research at the National Galleries of Scotland Christopher Breward among other speakers. Leading Russian researchers will meet to discuss the current state of Fashion Studies in Russia and in the West.

The program of lectures has been developed in collaboration with Lyudmila Alyabyeva, editor-in-chief at Teoriya mody [Fashion Theory], academic director at HSE Art and Design School, and head of MA Fashion Studies at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.

In November and December, Garage invites visitors to the Weekend School—a project that includes open lectures and closed seminars devoted to the methodology of artistic research and creates a platform for a dialogue between researchers.

Questions raised in the exhibition will be further explored in a film program featuring a selection of international pictures as well as special programs for all age groups.

Monthly Family Days for children and their parents will include lectures on the history of carnivals, weaving, sewing, and wicker traditions in the myths of various cultures. Children are invited on adapted tours of the exhibition and to workshops with Garage tutors and can explore the world of clothes on their own using the special guide with games and creative tasks. Along with tours and master classes, in October teenagers will be offered a program of seminars on fashion in contemporary culture and the role of clothes in the everyday.

The public program for The Fabric of Felicity will for the first time feature special events for the seniors, including curator-led tours, lectures by art and fashion historians, discussions, and creative workshops.

Audio guides in Russian and English, as well as a video guide in Russian Sign Language, will be available at the information stand.

Schedule

  Curator-led tours of the exhibition The Fabric of Felicity

On the day of the opening, visitors will have a unique opportunity to explore the exhibition with the curators of the project.

Date
Wednesday, September 12
Time
18:00–20:40
Place
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Lygia Pape’s performance Divisor recreated for the exhibition The Fabric of Felicity

On September 29, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art launches its fall exhibition season, including The Fabric of Felicity, which brings together over forty artists from around the world who explore clothes outside the context of the fashion industry. As part of the exhibition, visitors are invited to take part in Divisor, a recreation of a performance first organized by Brazilian artist Lygia Pape (1927–2004) in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in 1967.

REGISTRATION

Date
Saturday, September 29
Time
15:00–17:00

The Illusion That We Accept: Who Is Allowed to Be Fashionable? A lecture by Ksenia Gusarova

Cultural scholar Ksenia Gusarova explores the evolution of judgements on fashion since the late eighteenth century, focusing on what was permitted and considered right or wrong at different times.

Date
Tuesday, October 2
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Surface and Meaning: Clothes in August Sander’s Photography. A lecture by Oksana Gavrishina

A fabric is the surface that a fashion designer works with. Photographers also work with surfaces, creating new meanings. Cultural scholar Oksana Gavrishina will talk about the clothes in the photographs by German photographer August Sander.

Date
Tuesday, October 9
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Translating the Language of Fashion into Russian. Discussion

Olga Vaynshteyn, Linor Goralik, Tatyana Dashkova, Yulia Demidenko, Oksana Zaporozhets, Ekaterina Kulinicheva and Lyudmila Alyabyeva discuss the history of Fashion Studies in Russia and in the West.

REGISTRATION

Date
Wednesday, November 7
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

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