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Galerie 8

Fashion As Art

Is fashion an art form? It’s a good question. And remember, the question is ‘Is fashion an art form?’ Not ‘Is fashion good art?’. Which means that examples of particularly awful fashion…

… are not arguments against fashions status as an art. Because as we all know, having no sense of aesthetic beauty or cultural interest is no barrier to being art…


…oh no. If anything it often seems like a requisite. So is fashion art? Well, yes. Clearly. Kind off, in a way. Art is just creative expression intended to be appreciated as expression. This is how I interpret and define it and I’m sure that is misguided in many ways and that there are many things which fall outside of that definition. Some things defy definition, they are left to the instinct of the observer to define and it comes down not to any perfect formulas or truths, but too arguments and ideas, intellect and experience. Sometimes, with such things, you just know it when you see it.

It is possible to read the Court’s opinion in Roth v. United States and Alberts v. California, 354 U.S. 476, in a variety of ways. In saying this, I imply no criticism of the Court, which in those cases was faced with the task of trying to define what may be indefinable. I have reached the conclusion, which I think is confirmed at least by negative implication in the Court’s decisions since Roth and Alberts, that under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”


Justice Potter Stewart

Sometimes I just know it when I see it. And I see it in things like this:


Sienna by Siobhan Molloy

What is especially fascinating in fashion as an art form to be studied is that it is an art form that everyone participates in, in an era where art is more and more trapped behind gallery doors and owned and produced by a self sustaining sycophantic elite.


But everyone wears clothes, some do so creatively, some do so with little thought, but all engage in some way in an act of material self expression, and that basically is what all art art is! Material self expression. So yeah, fashion is art.


Looking At Neon

So, neon. I recently spent a few hours wondering around a wondrous little hole out past Walthamstow called ‘God’s Own Junk Yard‘.his is a quite miraculous place run by a guy called Chris Bracy who has been creating, collecting, designing and saving various neon signs and works for over 37 years. It’s a magical and beautiful place.

“Oh what a world of pleasure and delight,

Of power, of honour, of omnipotence,

Is promised to the studious artisan”

Dr Faustus

The glow of neon is an amazing and magical thing. In general, I love the use of small glow en mass.

birdman.Still135 (1)

But it is neon especially that bathes the world in such a beautiful light. Neon Clocks and Signs (http://www.iconneon.com/), especially.


If you ever get the chance to head out to God’s Own then get out there. Galleries are so freekin stale and set up, it is such a pleasure to go somewhere that is just a man’s dream. Or rather, a man’s dream world. It is truly beautiful. sfghSitting amongst that glow, who cannot be inspired and magical. 13.12.02_GODS-OWN-JUNKYARD_001-030-1Such is the power of Neon

Yeah. Know it. God’s Own Junk Yard is an art gallery in every way apart from the Art World signifiers that we ‘insiders’ so crave.

Fuck our art world. We should get back to colour.


Collaboration In Art: Rainer and Roth


When you imagine an artist in your mind you do, perhaps, not imagine a group of ego-less collaborators. In art, or at least in modern western art, the idea of the ‘artist’ as the individual, and art as pure expression of the ego has been heavily prevalent for so long that collaboration is often seen as necessarily lessening the purity of vision within the work. If art is best when it is a singular vision purely realised then collaboration in vision and realisation only lessens it.


When we imagine the artist as a raging egoist the idea of collaboration seems even more far fetched and ill advised. When artists are driven by an obsessiveness with their own vision and journey, why would they ever want to invite someone else in to shove their vision, perspective and practices in? It would, surely, end up in war.


Artist war! Not the most deadly of wars, but conflict never the less. In some situation though such a tussle of egos is a productive aspect of the artistic process more than a reductive one. Conflict can create great art just as collaboration can. When two artist collaborate in conflict they can create. As Arnulf Rainer and Dieter Roth did:

DieterRoth1 dr_ar_neo_1975-Hz99dM HWL-Dieter-Roth-and-Arnulf-Rainer-Kehrbild-No-year-2-low HWL-Dieter-Roth-and-Arnulf-Rainer-Untitled-1975-low











Dieter Roth, a German-Swiss artist and writer (1930-1998)  was a serial collaborator, he worked with many great artists through out his life including, when he got older, his own son Björn Roth:

But it was his work with Dieter Roth, a self taught Austrian painter and photographer, that really took off. Working from Rainers studio in Vienna irregularly between 1972 and 1983 the two were prolific. They produced over 700 pieces of work during that period including photographs they would paint over, performance work, drawings, prints, collages and films. They had a fractious artistic relationship, as some have described it ‘more duel than duet’. Often they would make a point of this in their work, overly displaying the divide in their influence over a particular piece:


Rainer and Roth did not work by converging their styles and combining them, but by putting them along side each other in conflict. Roths controlled and lyrical draughtsmanship with Rainers angry, tough, chaotic black marks. The two perfectly summed up the way they practised as “Misch und Trennkunst(mixed and separate art)”. Mixed and separate, untainted and unbowed, but bouncing of each other and fighting with each other, making each identity more pronounced. This is what collaboration can be.