Over the last year, i’ve been doing more and more conceptual work, primarily about the process of measuring spaces.
Not being a natural born killer on screen, and not wanting the work to be about ‘me’ per se, i’ve taken to using a fashion device as a costume of sorts: my black st pauli cap and a black hoodie.
It has been interesting to see it creep into my process on a semi-conscious level and to notice the relationship between what i wear when i am doing these process works and how it fits in with what other artists have used when making similar works, primarily joseph beuys, eminen and every graf artist in the history of the world.
I certainly didn’t set out for it to be that way. It just happened to be what i was wearing the first time i documented the measuring and patterning of the RMIT toilets. In fact, most of my friends will attest to the fact that black jeans and hoodie are pretty much my uniform during winter anyway. But the fact that it has moved from happenstance to choice is interesting to me. It has become a symbol of anonymity, comfort and specificity for me now. I step into a mode through this moda and it enables me to focus. Same goes for costume throughout the history of theatre.
The thing with the hat is kind of fascinating and little embarrassing in its obvious (although unintentional) link to beuys. i’m sure that mr beuys used the hat in similar ways- as a screen to hide behind, regular symbol of his process and a personal motif, so maybe it’s unsurprising that there’s a sartorial link.
And then of course there is the uniform of making (often uncommissioned) work in public- the black hoodie. Contemporary fashion device of blending in and hiding- a dime a dozen. Which also also happens to be bound up in political action, as suggested in the pics of G20 protests on flickr and eminen’s cool mosh vid from 2006. The hoodie has become a fashion item of the public space, in terms of interacting with it. It’s the street version of the black cloak and wig of law, or the black polo of architects (i jest).
if i had more time, and i was a fashion grad student, as opposed to half-arsed blogger, it could be an interesting point of research: fashion devices used in public and performance art.
In the mean time, you have this.