Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dress Codes at the International Center for Photography

On October 2, 2009 the International Center for Photography in NYC opens their signature exhibition "Dress codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video". The show features over 100 recent works by 34 artists from 18 countries. The thematic focus for this year's art is "fashion." Through the eyes of these photographers, videographers and artists, fashion shows itself to be a multi-sided, multi-layered factor in all communities of the world.

Now don't think "fashion" as the designer clothing Madison Avenue has marketed into our conscientiousness' – rather this is a collective look at how people make statements through what they are wearing be it by choice or by circumstance. The bigger question is "What is the subconscious information being conveyed by what a person chose to dress in or is forced to wear?"

The images of this show speak to a deep visual language that resonates about gender, culture, history, geography and personality. Between the lines these artists are asking — do clothing, looks and style communicate individuality, community, or both or something else altogether? How do the costumes or clothing express what the person wearing them intends to express? Do these people dress for power, religious beliefs, climate, fantasy, economic crisis, or personal style? Obviously that decision can be affected by some or all of these topics and much more.

But this show is intended to make you wonder how do people of the global world decide how to construct the their "look" through what they wear or don't wear. Do they even have much of a choice? And after you consider that, you can mull over the statement each artist is making by way the THEIR subject matter is "dressed." The pieces are diverse, wildly creative and fascinating.

"Invasion, 2008" by Martha Rosler

 (Is it any wonder dictators always seem to turn up in military uniforms even if they never served a day in the armed forces of their country? Unless of course they are wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit....)

The exhibit will be on display until January 17, 2010. The International Center of Photography is located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, NYC.

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