Group exhibition curated by artist Dario Calmese opens next week at projects+gallery
Featuring work by 14 artists, Fashioning the Black Body surveys how fashion, style, and the garment act as devices of investigative storytelling.
The exhibition includes work by 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, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.
Engaging the fashion object as a form of identification, self-actualization and agency, Fashioning the Black Body creates 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.
“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.
Through the featured works, 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.
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.
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.
(Banner image: Jacolby Satterwhite)