Taking its title from the 1930s science fiction musical comedy of the same name, ‘Just Imagine…’, curated by artist in residence Rachel Adams, brings together a showreel of research explored during her residency at The Lombard Method.
Comprising film trailers, movie clips, promotional footage, artist films and archive footage, ‘Just Imagine…’ presents a snapshot of the artist’s influences, including moving image treats from science fiction, craft workshops and feminist history from the ‘60s, ‘70s and beyond
16/05 – 18/05 ‘Just Imagine…’, Research film by Rachel Adams, The Lombard Method, 68a Lombard St, Birmingham
Glasgow based artist Rachel Adams will be in residence at The Lombard Method from March until June 2013, as she focuses on a research project that will inform the development of future work.
On Wednesday 20th March, Adams gave an introduction to her practice and her research interests, and outlined the topics she will be enquiring into during the residency. Adams will present research material to conclude the residency from 13th – 15th June.
Adams’ sculptural works explore the relationship between science fiction, classical sculptural motifs and decorative craft techniques, questioning the historical and cultural value of materials.
Adams uses materials and processes that have a specific cultural and historical identity, such as tie-dye, macramé and crochet, in works that reflect the aesthetics of science fiction. Adams often mirrors methods employed to produce the ‘alien’ environments of 1970s television sets, which marked a growing distrust of the technological advancements of the preceding decade. The retrospective contexts of Adams’s sculpture draw on an increasingly nostalgic engagement with new age themes such as self-improvement.
The costume can serve limitless purposes; apart from adorning and protecting the human body, costume itself is a symbol of culture and ideology. Costume can serve to disguise or mask, but also as a means to perform ones role in society and emphasise or display beliefs and ideology. As a vehicle for ritual and a means of appropriation and impersonation, costume has long been adopted by artists as a transformative device and to pose questions around gender roles and identity construction. This exhibition reflects on some of these themes and conceives of ‘costume’ as a device or prism through which to investigate relationships between performance, image and sculpture in artistic practice.
In his 1967 text The Fashion System, Roland Barthes defined the idea that clothing is in itself a language or a complex system of signs through which cultural meaning is constructed, or in his words “written clothing”. Barthes describes clothing oneself as an act of signification which manifests through symbols or convention, “Sign or symbol, clothing affirms and reveals cleavages, hierarchies, and solidarities according to a code guaranteed and perpetuated by society and its institutions.” This exhibition explores Barthes’ notion of “written clothing” and specifically the role of costume and associated themes of gesture, performance and representation. Orchestrated in the window gallery to resemble tableaux vivant, museum diorama or an ambivalent shop display, the exhibition design sets up a dialogue between cultural, historical and theatrical associations, exploring the dynamic between the function and symbolic meaning of clothing.
Many of the costumes and garments exhibited have been created for specific performances and within the context of the gallery space are re-contextualised as sculptural objects, some have been created as proposals or commissions specifically for the project. Costume: Written Clothing includes work by Rachel Adams, Pablo Bronstein, Steven Cairns, Matthew Darbyshire, Kate Davis, Tobias Kaspar, Ursula Mayer, Seth Price, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, Alexis-Marguerite Teplin, Rachel Maclean, Sarah Wright, Sophie Macpherson, Charlotte Prodger and Clare Stephenson.
Fri 3 May – Sun 16 June, Tramway, Glasgow