Reading Vogue

Guest Curator: Line Ellegaard

Artists: Pio Abad, Paul Kindersley, Andrew Munks, Martha Rosler, Gro Sarauw, Merete Vyff Slyngborg, Urara Tsuchiya

Opening 3 May 2013, 18.00–22.00
Exhibition 4–31 May 2013, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 13.00–18.00, except Saturday 18 May

The exhibition title ‘Reading Vogue’ refers to Martha Rosler Reads Vogue, a video by Martha Rosler originally made for live TV in 1983. In this work Rosler presents a feminist reading of Vogue magazine, deconstructing its messages and advertisements and juxtaposing the slick glossy pages with the fashion industry’s reliance on sweatshops. Now exactly 30 years later the piece remains profoundly relevant. Rosler’s critique is explicit; yet her hands gently stroke the surface of the glossy pages as she flips through the magazine and repeatedly questions ‘What is Vogue?’ In this sense an ambiguous form of seduction emanates from viewing the video, and a form of implication in that which one seeks to critique arises. The space of fashion is paradoxical; it empowers and determines, enables and constrains expressions.

The exhibition ‘Reading Vogue’ intends to extend the question ‘What is Vogue?’ to a range of practices and concepts related to styling, culture and reading today. The intention is to neither condemn nor defend fashion but rather to inhabit its paradoxical space. Whether we admit it or not we are all implicated in fashion and style (and by implication global capitalism); be it by getting dressed every day to the idea of styling as something that applies to a range of practices beyond those related to the body.

At 68 Square Metres Art Space Martha Rosler’s now historical artwork will be shown in conjunction with recent artworks made by a younger generation of artists that employ a wide range of methodologies. The exhibited works range from those that explore the transgressive capacity of styling and the delicate border between good taste and bad taste, to narratives between material objects, personal histories, received ideologies and historical events. From those that deploy notions of reading, re-appropriation of appropriation, fashion industry formats such as the catwalk and the look-book, to different means and ends, and the styling and transformation of the self through make-up and disguise.

A diverse and growing reading list with references to texts, documents, books and visual material which inspired the exhibition and the artists will also be available in the exhibition space to forge connections and affinities between the artworks and to possibly map out a future field of artistic research and exploration. ‘Reading Vogue’, then, places emphasis on the verbs ‘styling’ and ‘reading’ as they intertwine in the practice of the artists, the works on display, the subject of the exhibition and the reading of artworks in the space by the audience.

Closing Event 31 May 2013
Collective reading to communalise and socialise the activity of reading which is otherwise typically private and solitary.