Presenting a hybrid between performance installation and movement analysis, De_sign seeks to an opportunity for the body to experience constructions. These constructions are embedded into the installation and highlight a repeated stylisation of the body which has contributed to the building of gender. The experience is directed by a clothing series and ‘a chair’, which are collaboratively negotiated by the body. A movement sequence is directed, which augments the behaviour of the body; the body comes out of alignment, is disoriented, skewed, or unbalanced. This disorientation presents a possibility to experience a different type of repetition or a new vocabulary of movement. We look at what it means to be ‘oriented’ and what it means to take a ‘position’.
This work looks into systems of design and orientation as they relate to representations of gender. It considers how design presents a distorted system of gender representation by using the vehicle of the media and contributes to the establishment of gender norms through the production of cultural artefacts. The aim has been to deconstruct the gendered meanings inherent in these systems and explore the condition of the ‘mediated body’ in design. Our method involves an act of DE___SIGNing, which searches for and pulls apart a complex system of signs related to gender. A reconstruction is inspired by this process. An abstracted visual language of gendered signs is used to present and describe a collection of re-appropriated cultural artefacts. The research and the design come together in performance.
The cultural contrast and stereotype that still exists between differently gendered bodies in the same sitting position was noted as a starting point. The interaction explores the position itself, the space taken up by the position, the object/garment which controls the position and the site of the body. The mark of claimed space is physically stitched into the garment. The body is directed into positions which have gendered meaning. The interaction seeks to reduce the gendering of these positions and reveal them as learnt behaviour.
This garment series is designed to articulate, define and reconfigure ideas about the construction of gender. The design explores constructions of gender through vocabularies of movement. The series is an abstract and symbolic exploration demonstrated through performance and movement analysis and documented through film.
The purpose of this series is to deconstruct the ways in which clothing is used to compose and structure our genders. As such, the garment series alludes to how we read the body, how we divide and dissect it, using visual cues to establish gendered meaning. The aim is to subvert and explore these readings in an abstract way.
Film Produced by Kimon Kodossis, 2014