Experimental Fashion and Performance

Parsons School of Design: Art and Design History

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students

Experimental Fashion

Spring 2021

Taught By: Francesca Granata

Section: A

CRN: 5383

Credits: 3

This graduate seminar examines visual and material culture at the turn of the millennium, with a particular focus on the work at the juncture between experimental fashion and perforamance art. It explores the ever-increasing challenge posed by practioners from the art and fashion fields to the “classical” concept of the body and of beauty, which found one of its most successful articulations in the images surrounding twentieth century high fashion. Examining the way designers and artists problematize easy demarcations between the inside and outside of the body, the course questions why this period saw an explosion of grotesque imagery-an imagery articulating unsettling ruptures of borders-which had been lurking just beneath the surface throughout the twentieth century. Among the questions we will ask are: Why is the sealed and “perfect” body, which developed in the Western vocabulary as early as the Renaissance, so forcefully challenged by contemporary designers and artists? How can we read this proliferaion of the grotesque in relation to changes in gender roles, normative sexuality and the AIDS crisis? We look at a range of media including the video and performance work of Leigh Bowery in collaboration with Charles Atlas and Michael Clark, to the dance performances by Merce Cunningham in collaboration with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons; to the experimental fashion shows staged by Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, to the more recent phenomenon of Lady Gaga. We also examine textiles' relation to the body as a second skin, a surface on which bodily borders are negotiated. The seminar will combine theories and methodologies from fashion theory, gender studies, art history, performance studies, science studies and medical anthropology in its exploration of the topic. Among the authors read will be Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva, Lynda Nead, Frances Connelly, Emily Martin, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Caroline Evans.

Open to: All university graduate degree students.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art and Design History (PLAD)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Sync Type: N/A

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: February 1, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: May 10, 2021 (Monday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:01pm 10/31/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/20/2021 - 5/5/2021