I’m not quite sure what to make of this one. First I never really thought of shotgun shells as refuse material. Off the top of my head, I can’t imagine that they take up an awful lot of space in landfills. On the other hand, due to the nature of their use I would also imagine that they aren’t brought to landfills and for the most part are left scattered on the ground. But then again I’m not a hunter, and the hunters that I know of are extremely conscientious stewards of nature. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to for them to pick up after themselves, either.
Then we get into the whole use of deadly arms as fashion statement morass. And while I’m certain that there are people out there who match their Smith and Wesson to their bracelet, or more simply, carry a gun around like my father wears a watch. I’m not one of them. Heck I don’t even carry around anything on me that tells the time.
I can see the allure of using brass tipped red plastic cylinders as the basic material for a dress, but the more I think about it, the less I like this particular dress. I don’t remember where or who, but I do remember somewhere learning that the designers were assigned their materials, and so if my memory is in fact correct, I can’t really blame Geneviève Dumas and Geneviève Flageol.
But this is where it veers off into the surreal. For reasons that are beyond my comprehension, the exhibit designers decided that dresses made from strange materials wasn’t enough of a draw, so they engaged some vedettes to sign objects that some how had significance to the dresses themselves. Someone decided that a gasmask used by Jean-François Lépine would be make for a good pairing with the Bullet Dress. As M. Lépine writes on the tag for the display “Pour moi, c’est devenu un objet fétiche qui me rappelle que, même dans l’adversité la plus opaque, l’espoir est toujours permis.” Or for the squareheads reading this: “It has become a symbolic object for me; it reminds me that even in the darkest hours of adversity, hope remains.” (As an aside, that is a kick-ass translation, I hope that the designers for the show got paid at least as much as the translators did – but somehow I have a sneaking suspicion that they didn’t.)
But, if you take the statement at face value, it is completely bizarre. I’m not certain what would give the sense of adversity, the bullets? Wearing the dress? Thinking about the use of the bullets? I dunno. But I do know that there are people out there who would pay good money to wear a sexy red Mexican inspired frock like that despite whatever implications it might have.
If you’d like to see the front of the dress, click here, I used the photo yesterday, and don’t want to be duplicating things.
I think that this is my favorite dress out of the whole bunch. But more in theory than actual practice. Inspired and inventive. Sassy, smelly and insouciant!! (hey! maybe I could get a gig working for Elle Quebec!)
But someone should let Ms. Bouchard know that if she ever wants to make a second salmon skin dress that she should talk to Lottas Garfveri and/or get her books. Her dresses would be just as Inspired and inventive. Sassy and insouciant, but they would no longer be smelly.
I’m not entirely sold on her use of mussel shells as accessories. And given the exotic nature of the material used, I’m not certain that I really need to discuss the actual design. For the most part, when using skin (ie leather) as a dress material most, if not all the really impressive dresses I’ve seen tend to follow the form of the body fairly closely. As you can see with this one, it is much more florid. Not quite what I would call rococo, but approaching. I don’t know if that was caused by there still being some meat left on the skin when it was cut (and as a consequence why it needs to be refrigerated).
It appears to me that it was made more for one of those matronly mermaids, and not one of those nymph-like mermaids.
And the reason the photographs are so blue, is because of the fluorescent lights in the refrigerator where they have to keep the dress, since Ms. Bouchard made the executive decision not to tan the salmon skins.
A flapper inspired dress made of old
tin aluminum cans.
Next to each dress the exhibition designers wrote some sort of lagniappe next to each dress. In this case they decided that everyone should know that it Maude Lapierre made 4,376 16 gauge holes in the
tin aluminum. Personally I would have preferred to know how heavy (or light) the dress was. While it might be aluminum, it still is metal, and before I were to wear it, I’d want to know how many kilos it was.
Still more tomorrow.Published: November 2nd, 2011 Author: zeke Categories: Art, Fashion, Montréal, Photo Essay, Public Art, Québec, Ramble, Review, Visual Art Tags: Biosphere, Bullet Dress, Charlesthé, Geneviève Bouchard, Geneviève Dumas, Geneviève Flageol, Jean-François Lépine, Maude Lapierre, Mermaid Skin, Objets Non Enfouis, Outfits from a New Era, Peau de Sirène, Robe de Balles | 3 Comments »