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Cultural Uniform

June 28, 2018 - August 31, 2018

Art in General
145 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Tues-Sat, 12-6pm
(212) 219-0473

Art in General presents Cultural Uniform, a New Commission by the Rational Dress Society, a counter-fashion collective founded by artist Maura Brewer and designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury. In a dizzying moment characterized by fractures and divisions of many kinds in our political landscape, the project wonders what infrastructures of solidarity might look like inside art institutions and beyond them. What is the task of cultural labor in these times?

Across their practice, The Rational Dress Society explores dress as a contemporary expression of political and sartorial solidarity. They draw inspiration from a long and rich history of radical garments: from the Sans-culottes worn by the revolutionary movement in a show of class solidarity in early 19th-century France; to the Bloomers worn in the name of women’s liberation in the United States in the 1850s; to the Italian Tute Bianche’s precarious workers coveralls of the 1990s.

Cultural Uniform will be adopted as the official uniform of Art in General, created and sewn by the Rational Dress Society and shaped and worn by all of Art in General’s interns, fellows and staff from June 28, 2018 onward. The project draws directly upon the Rational Dress Society’s ongoing project, JUMPSUIT (2014–present), an ungendered monogarment for everyday wear deeply rooted in the visual language and history of work wear that questions hierarchies of class, gender, race that haunt our contemporary relation to dress.

At once a functional worker’s garment and self-reflexive durational performance, Cultural Uniform compels us to wonder what cultural work should look like in difficult political times? The garment will be warn and thus “on view” at Art in General’s exhibition space, office and residency studio during all open-to-the public programming or by individual appointment. A publication documenting and reflecting on what it means to wear Cultural Uniform, including a newly commissioned text by artist and writer Aliza Shvarts, will be launched online in August 2018 at www.artingeneral.org.

Cultural Uniform is curated by Laurel Ptak, Executive Director and Curator of Art in General with assistance from Marta Cacciavillani, Curatorial Fellow. Special thanks to Art in General’s extraordinary summer 2018 team and uniform wearers: Marta Cacciavillani, Olga Kostyrko, Annabel La Riva, Eriola Pira, Laurel Ptak and Jino Rahimi.