Saturday, April 12, 2008


In a recent interview with We Make Money Not Art, Kate James described her strained relationship with fashion fed by her love of dance and architecture. She is a second year graduate student in the Visual Arts Program at MIT. She studied dance/kinesthesia and architectural history at Brown University, did a Masters of Architecture at MIT and later transferred into the Visual Arts program.

All of the photos here are atHABITat costumes.
They are about a contemporary vision of the woman in the home, and a need to multi-task and overlap the upkeep habits of the body and the home. They are costumes worn to augment the household maintenance task, transforming it into an iso-kinetic exercise. Each costume records and accentuates the ergonomics of the activity.

In one, resistance band connects the vacuum wand to the wearer, intensifying the sweeping motion of the vacuuming. The 'putting away dishes' costume attaches a similar resistance band between the dishwasher and the wearer's vinyl gloves. In the 'serving food' costume, bands run through an oven mitt corset piece to accentuate the tension in the serving motion.

And, lastly, Kate James on her relationship with fashion:
As an artist, I certainly engage with fashion. By this I mean that I think closely about how the body is clad, and how clothing can inform the body and vice-versa. Fashion becomes a key interface in the investigation of the body in the environment.

In terms of performance and the impact of costuming, fashion offers a fantastic bank of codified aesthetics, which can be drawn from for conceptual and phenomenal meaning.


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