Monthly Archives: August 2009

Emily’s Knitting Hall of Fame

Debbie New knits in the legacy of Meret Oppenheim and modernizes knitting in a multitude of ways.

She knitted a wool teacup that reminds me of Oppenheim’s Fur one from 1936. They both defeat the functionality of the original object, but while the fur-lined cup induces a shudder, New’s cup creates the same kind of feeling as the knitting process itself– a state of repose. It is a beautiful, delicate work that is a product of the creation process itself. Knitting is modernized like sculpture and painting was 50 years or more ago.

She’s also added to the traditional knitting techniques with Scribble Lace, Cellular Automaton, Sculptural, Virtual and Labyrinth Knitting. It’s chronicled in a book of hers Unexpected Knitting which I unfortunately do not own so I cannot elaborate. I understand that they’re inspired from more high art types of processes and in the case of Cellular Automation, biology.

You can see more pictures here.

She is also speaking at the Iknit weekender which I will be missing. I’m excited to find more fiber-arts related artists. I think the traditional forms of fine art have been explored to the extent that they can be and knitting can, and should be explored.

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Esquire’s Singular Suit Exhibition

Currently coming to you from the City of Brotherly Love. AKA filthadelphia. (Pittsburgh is still better, but there is a good music scene and a great art museum,but really where, WHERE is Uncle Jimmy’s, Ritter’s AND HOCKEYYYYY)

Anyway, for the past few weeks I’ve been volunteering at the Somerset house where there is an exhibition by some of the world’s most well-known men’s designers and most renown contemporary artists (and a car). It’s still running for 10 more days and I’d recommend it because it’s free and it’s really rather interesting in the different ways each suit was designed to fit a single concept within the strict confines of a suit. .

Well It’s Shiny, but Can You Wear it to the Office?: Esquire’s Singular Suit Review

The suit is quintessential to men’s clothing implying power, masculinity, and hygiene, but how many variations on a three piece suit can there be? Esquire’s Singular Suit seeks to answer this question, and for the most part it answers with a resounding “one or two”, but the suit can be see-through or become a metal enclosure. It can play into ideas of masculinity, or question it. It can be a perfect example of why my boyfriend doesn’t want to work in an office or it can break into the viewer’s space or ask you to come closer and break the tradition form of not only a suit, but the human body. While there were a few dull examples that are equivalent to BBC Radio 2, most suits successfully used various fine art mediums in a design and fashion setting to re-think the ubiquitous men’s suit.

Viewing the suits is a bit of an exercise in surrealist reality. Entering from the formal entrance in the Somerset House, into a beautiful gallery space with inlaid wood floors and chandeliers you see headless mannequins staring at themselves in large mirrors, sometimes reaching out a hand-less sleeve to touch their reflection. The second room has more mannequins being kept company by a wooden female mannequin sitting on a chair, and as you look towards the third room there is bright light, unidentifiable from this room, but begging for examination.

The glowing light leads to my favorite suit. A beautiful suit pierced with large lighting sticks as though it were a still frame in a movie or as if the wearers soul as escaped the confines of the three piece suit. Other favorites include see-through suit designed with Spencer Tunick, a suit electroplated with metal by Antony Gormley and a suit made from an oil painting. These artists and designers really combined their talents and combined fashion with the traditional categories of art and I thought these were some of the most successful, but also some of the more obvious.

One suit, differentiated by being the only one designed with an object rather than artist in mind, was one based on a Ferrari. Its a beautifully designed suit and really captures all that a suit can encompass outside of a Monday morning uniform. I think of 007. Another suit, if you are tall enough, obviously I am not, lets you know with a beep when you are getting too close. It has sensors placed on it and is really interactive.

As always happens, some just don’t work. One suit was just accented with scuff marks, but is a regular boring suit regardless. One is a simple, dull suit with a guitar and a hope that rock and roll can save its soul.

In the hours I sat with the suit, I most enjoyed watching the visitor’s reactions. It’s essential to the life of any art piece and can be very telling about the work, itself. One older woman took a quick look and was visibly unimpressed by all the “ladies suits”. (The suits are cut super slim.) Some just took a quick look and went on with their tour of central London, but many stood behind the suits, looked over it, and took pictures of themselves in the mirrors in front of the suit. Their heads replacing the empty space where the mannequin was missing it’s own. Art meeting fashion, even without being worn.

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