“Profuse” is a useful word with which to approach this ambitious, high-concept effort. Organized by Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the Modern’s architecture and design department, and Michelle Millar Fisher, a curatorial assistant, it has involved years of research and travel and is as anthropological as it is aesthetic. Full NYT review here.
March 2017, Brooklyn Rail: “Fashion is absolutely embedded in this conversation, and in multiple ways—as a marker of time and memory, a maker of status, or vehicle for fantastical escapism, certainly, it helps us mediate, describe, and explain modern life. We think of the decrepit clothes of the stonebreakers painted by Gustave Courbet that—ripped, patched, stained—express the artist’s desire to elicit empathy and political consciousness in his viewer. John Singer Sargent’s infamous Madame X (1883 – 84) imbued sensuality and scandal in one drooping strap. Yoko Ono needed clothing to transgress not only the relationship between viewer and art object, but between the clothed and naked (female) body inCut Piece (1964). And via the power of an MTV music video, Run DMCimmortalized not just a shoe, but the well-worn tropes of commonality, desire, and aspiration in their song “My Adidas” (1986): And I walk down the street and I bop to the beat / With Lee on my legs and Adidas on my feet.”
I am very honored to be a P.E.O. Scholar for the 2017-18 academic year, supported by an amazing chapter and …
The Sheila Johnson Design Galleries at Parsons The New School for Design
Opening reception: Tuesday, April 11, 6-8 p.m.
I Will What I Want: Women, Design, and Empowerment explores the complex and sometimes-contradictory role that design has played from the mid-Twentieth Century, through second wave feminism, to present non-binary intersections in the pursuit of gender expression and equality for those who have uteruses, menstruate, and/or identify as women.
The exhibition features objects, interfaces, and clothing that have sought to enable those who have uteruses, menstruate, or embrace womanhood as independent and creative subjects in a material world largely designed by and for men but consumed by those who identify as women.
Design’s relationship with the individual and with societies is rarely uncomplicated. With the introduction of the contraceptive pill came the rise of laws designed to constrict reproductive rights for people with uteruses; for every breast pump that facilitates new parents’ choices about work and nutrition, there exists a poorly designed familial leave policy; and so many designs “for her,” even for very young girls, come with the baggage of implicit and explicit expectations about class, race, gender performance, labor, and sexuality.
This exhibition begins a dialogue around designs created to emancipate those who menstruate, give birth, and/or identify as women. It asks visitors to contemplate, from their own positions, the ways in which these products, garments, and interfaces have, for better and sometimes for worse, governed, shaped, and facilitated modern and contemporary experiences.
This exhibition is co-organized by independent curators Jimena Acosta and Michelle Millar Fisher (part-time faculty, School of Art and Design History and Theory).
I have been very lucky to work with Paola and in collaboration with the Hyundai Card Design Library on a series of exhibitions that have opened in Seoul over the past three years. This final one, exploring symbols and icons in graphic design, opened in Seoul on August 2, 2016.
I’m moderating two panels on virtual reality with three really wonderful practitioners and convened by a great colleague, Veena Vijayakumar. More details here.