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Indepth Arts News:

"The Dress Show / La mode dans tous ses états"
2003-04-22 until 2003-05-31
Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University
Montreal, QC, CA Canada

The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery of Concordia University is pleased to present The Dress Show, featuring clothing-based imagery by seven contemporary Canadian artists. These thought-provoking and visually beautiful sculptural works explore the notion of dress and identity. Artists include Barry Ace, Barbara Hunt, Ana Rewakowicz, Lissa Robinson, Catherine Sylvain, Laura Vickerson, and Kevin Whitfield. The Gallery is located at 1400, boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, in the J.W. McConnell Library Building.

Clothing is intimately bound up with identity and one's self-projections, marking the outermost boundary between the internally-defined ego and the social world we inhabit. For several years artists have been working with the image of clothing as a medium to express issues of race, gender and identity. The seven artists in this exhibition recognize costume as an adjunct to the body, but also see it as a means of exploring the definitions of self and the relations we form (or attempt to form) with others.

Barbara Hunt cuts dresses, patterned to mimic natural forms, out of cold-rolled steel plates. Catherine Sylvain's monumental paper dress insists on its own presence through the space it takes up, but belies its own forceful presence through the fragility of its materials. Ana Rewakowicz's candy-coloured latex clothing creates a discomforting sense of intimacy - recalling both the skin and fetish wear it speaks implicitly of desire and repulsion. Lissa Robinson also toys with the fetishistic in her sixty pairs of red velvet shoes each modeled on a real pair - de-constructed and reassembled in crimson cloth. Kevin Whitfield's knitted suits oscillate between body and garment, thereby questioning the stability of identity. Barry Ace's magnificent vest and headdress create an art work which addresses the ongoing adaptation of Native cultures. Laura Vickerson's delicately embroidered gauze corsets attempt to find meaning in the "underlying body" where the body and the garment begin to merge.

Curated by Interim Director, Lynn Beavis, an illustrated bilingual catalogue will accompany the exhibition. The Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts, Assistance to Art Museums and Public Galleries for Operations and Programming in Contemporary Art.

Ana Rewakowicz
Bigger Than Life Size

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