Dress your skeleton wisley: Symbiotica Fashion show installation.

[Installation, Symbiotica Fashion show, Pimlico 2019]

SYMBIOTICA was the Goldsmiths Fashion Society’s 2019 annual show. It took place on the 23rd of March at ‘De Pimlico Project’ in London.

The show had a theatrical approach and merged the principle’s of a fashion presentation with performance art in the setting of a Georgian home, soon to be renovated. Designers inhabited the domestic space with their presentations, and models engaged in durational performances whilst visitors were invited to explore the house.

Symbiotica, the theme, studied the relation between humanity, nature and future technological innovation, whilst investigating the fashion industry’s role in the legacy of pollution. The venue itself was built during the industrial revolution and represents the historical period that conceptually seeded the environmental problems we face today. By taking over this space we aimed to ‘recycle’ it, following Serge Latouche’s ideas on degrowth.

A room at the top of the house.

I was invited to create an installation in a room at the top of the house, three stairways up, it felt like I was in a fairytale dolls house and I had to glance at my arms to see if they were not turning to porcelain. It was within these few meters of nesting space that I began exploring how to abstract our relationship with nature and fashion.

This installation unpicked fashion as if it were a physical being, scattering it throughout a space, interweaving thoughts with projection technology. It created a space that lies between the physical world and the intangible world of thought, a fragmented limbo where visitors were invited to gently walk through the space, brushing aside fabric and elevated painted bones dredged from the river Thames.

The projected images and sound told an abstract story of sinking into the depths of the river Thames, where so many discarded waste ends up. It compared this to entering a subconscious state, inviting the visitors to enter a place of deep contemplation and think about the consequences of every day consumer choices.

This is a fragment of the story:

“Every person, every city, every piece of clothing has a skeleton, a trail of thought and production.
You are the model for this piece. The people of London. 
London’s calling. Dress your skeleton wisely”

As this installations philosophy invited thinking around the process and consequences of that process, the process of actually making the installation was also projected towards the end. Here are some visuals of the ‘making off’ the installation.

Around 200 people came to see the show in slots throughout the evening. The hierarchy of a fashion show was torn apart and in its place an experience grew, where you meet the models eyes or indeed, as with my installation, became fused with the space and become the model yourself.

Below is a clip showing filmed fragments of the installation.

[Installation, Symbiotica Fashion show, Pimlico 2019]

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