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  • Writer's pictureNienke Creemers

This is an Interesting Exhibit: State of Fashion: Ways of Caring pt. 2

On Friday the 10th of June I visited the State of Fashion Biennale in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The biennale has been a reoccurring event since 2005 with the purpose of "raising awareness of the current challenges in the fashion system and to bring about real change in the sector and in society."

The 2022 event centred around the theme 'Ways of Caring'. The exhibition in the Eusebius Church looked at ways to make the fashion industry more sustainable, caring and shined a light on the broken relationship between manufacturers and fashion consumers.

Within this article I'll focus on the exhibit: fashion as encounters in which artworks were divided into three theme groups:

"EXERCISING COMPASSION enables sensing otherwise by stepping away from individual actions and focusing on the collective practices. Fashion often privileges individual needs and instant gratification over long-lasting relationships. By confronting our sufferings caused by the effects of this self-centred industry, this encounter embraces collective practices and provokes sensibilities. It touches beyond surfaces to stimulate different emotional responses and experiences. Fashion then becomes a tool and a medium that connects us with each other through sharing and making. To exercise compassion, we invite you to openly embrace feelings of confrontation and discomfort, and to embody different realities."

"TRANSFORMING NARRATIVES is a place to encounter the untold stories, unseen bodies and existing beauties that have been historically erased. For decades, fashion has been promoting aesthetic standards based on dominant discourses. Therefore, this encounter looks into our social structures, to question the Eurocentric beauty ideals that have often exoticized other's identities. To transform social narratives, it is essential to make practices visible in which the body is reclaimed as a territory of resistance. Here, you are invited to challenge the notions of gender, identity, and vulnerability. Feel free to engage with transformative narratives."

"COEXISTING KNOWLEDGES rethinks formal ways of production and distribution of knowledge. We invite you to question the hegemonic view on western science and start comprehending the multiple and incommensurable ways of knowing. It is an encounter to decentralise education and experiment with educational practices, creating space for diversity and enabling plural worldviews to coexist. There are many ways of understanding, teaching, and researching that deserve recognition. Within fashion, clothes carry pieces of information that are not always on the surface. We would like to shed a light on the ways of making threads, colouring, and weaving this fabric of knowledge together."

State of Fashion, 2022

Dorian Ulises López Marcías & In the Park Productions

Flor de Capomo

Photographer Dorian Ulises López Marcías and In the Park Productions do not conform to Eurocentric beauty standards. The photo series 'Flor de Capomo' aims to show real Mexican beauty and push boundaries of standards within fashion imagery.

The five images shown at State of Fashion depict people in their home environment, with their loved ones, or alone. The collaboration gives importance to the representation of gender, identity and all bodies.

Eunice Pais

Aguineth: Celestial

Celestial by Eunice Pais is a series of images portraying vulnerability, strength, and joy. It is a celebration of the material we are made of according to Pais, stardust., the creative studio run by Pais, reacts intuitively to contemporary themes and creates ethical imagery. There is a strong focus on inclusion, equality and joy within the photographer's work.

Santiago Útima

Puntadas por pulgada maquila

The video installation Puntadas por Pulgada, Maquila is a performance examination of the tension between nostalgia and progress. Rythem, time and scale are central to the video in which Útima and his mother Amparo Loaiza struggle with sewing an industrialised fabric with a domestic sewing machine.

Útima's video successfully addresses the paradoxes of fashion manufacturing and home environments where clothing is crafted. More than just technology and industry, sewing becomes an experience of time.

State of Fashion will be open until the 10th of July 2022 in Arnhem, the Netherlands

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