Mickalene Thomas I've Been Good to Me, 2015 Edition 20/20 , artskop

“Fashioning the Black Body” at projects+gallery

projects+gallery announced the opening in the city of St. Louis, Missouri (USA) of “Fashioning the Black Body”, a group exhibition curated by multidisciplinary artist Dario Calmese.  

“Far from the reaches of frivolity–a domain to which fashion is usually relegated–Black people have continually engaged the fashion object beyond its utilitarian functions into a device of pride, protection, resistance and camouflage,”— states curator Dario Calmese.

Featuring work by 14 artists,  the new exhibition “Fashioning the Black Body” surveys how fashion, style, and the garment act as devices of investigative storytelling.

As a form of identification, self-actualization, and agency, the select artists engage the fashion object from various points of its ontogeny. In turn, Fashioning the Black Body becomes a dialogue about space: the space between black skin and cloth, the space that exists between the historically commodified and fetishized black body, and the space claimed for one’s self-defined identity.

David Antonio Cruz, Not so pretty, artskop
David Antonio Cruz
‘Not so pretty’

Featured artists include: Bisa Butler, Soly Cissé, Renee Cox, David Antonio Cruz, Kenturah Davis, Hassan Hajjaj, Basil Kincaid, Mario Moore, Chris Ofili, Fahamu Pecou, Katherine Simóne Reynolds, Jacolby Satterwhite, Stan Squirewell, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.

Through the work of these artists, the Black body is transubstantiated into a semipermeable membrane between the gaze and the contents it holds–and more concretely–the tenuous distances between who we are, who we want to be, and how we are perceived.

Mario Moore, "One Day in the Land of Milk and Honey" (2012) - artskop
Mario Moore, “One Day in the Land of Milk and Honey” (2012)

The curator of the event Dario Calmese is an artist working in photography whose practice includes live performance, video, and text. He received his master’s in photography from School of Visual Arts and his bachelor’s in psychology at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. Classically trained in the performing arts, he uses his knowledge of movement, gesture, and psychology to create characters and narratives that explore history, race, class, and what it means to be human.

Kehinde Wiley – After Pontormo’s “Two Men with a Passage” from Cicero’s “On Friendship” , 2009

“Fashioning the Black Body” opens this Friday, March 15 and will remain on view through May 4. A talk with curator Dario Calmese and artists Kenturah Davis, Basil Kincaid and Katherine Simóne Reynolds — moderated by Rikki Byrd — will take place at the gallery this Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m.

*Images courtesy of projects+gallery.

→ For more information, visit projects+gallery’s website.

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