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Not by the Dress Alone

 

We live in a world in which the brand, the price tag or the logo are what define our attitude to our surroundings, and vice versa, and we ask ourselves, do we make the clothes or do the clothes make us? And if so, why do clothes carry such an important role in our lives, since the day we first covered ourselves with a fig leaf we came across in the Garden of Eden?

The exhibition “Not by Dress Alone” will expose us to images through which we shall learn about clothes and those who wear them.
Do clothes teach us something about ourselves? About our origin, our financial status, the reality in which we live in? We often measure people according to the clothes they wear instead of according to their values, their skills and their objective worth.
We live in a world in which the brand, the price tag or the logo are what define our attitude to our surroundings, and vice versa, and we ask ourselves, do we make the clothes or do the clothes make us? And if so, why do clothes carry such an important role in our lives, since the day we first covered ourselves with a fig leaf we came across in the Garden of Eden?
We will examine clothes as a phenomenon and as a further indicator of the existing gaps in our society, and we will dream about an egalitarian society, which right now seems to be drifting away from us. We shall linger for a moment in the face of the frenzy which nurtures the fashion and clothing industry and the aggressive advertising and marketing world, both of which enjoy a budget of billions, which they exploit to constantly run after us with competing brands. We shall reveal a glimpse of this oiled machine which encourages us to forever keep on buying.
The fashion industry is one of the largest and most polluting industries on earth. More than 80% of the workers in fashion production factories are women, who are employed under harsh conditions for a mere 3 dollars a day. Those women can only dream of purchasing even the cheapest clothing they manufacture. In the United States alone 50 tons of clothes are discarded every year.
Even if we focus on the emerging vegan fashion, which is supposedly affordable to all, being uncompromisingly based on organic materials, fair trade, employees’ rights and clean production processes, we will realize that it is naïve to believe that it is run with an enhanced awareness and meticulousness regarding the environment. In fact, the final product of this trend is far from being affordable. Its production costs undermine its intentions, eventually catering only to the rich. Thus, once again, our good intentions are lost.
The phrase “I shop therefore I am” in American artist Barbara Kruger’s work, was inspired by Descartes’ philosophy “I think therefore I am”, and it expresses with irony and criticism the prevailing attitude of modern society, which gives preference to appearance over content.

Curator, Raphie Etgar

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Natan Dvir,

Israel


Bianca Severijns,

Israel, the Netherlands

Kimsooja,

South Korea


Trine Søndergaard,

Denmark


Ori Shraiber,

Israel


Tuomo Manninen,

Germany, Finland


Mark Bennington,

USA


Susan Barnett,

USA

 

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