Dictionary Dressings by Femke de Vries

Photo: Sanne van den Elzen

Dictionary Dressings 
Re-reading clothing definitions towards alternative fashion perspectives

EXHIBITION
February 17 – April 21, 2017

OPENING
Friday February 17 from 17.00 hrs @ bur0 Gr0ningen, Hofstraat 21, Groningen (NL)

17.00 hrs: Results Dictionary Dressings workshop 04, a collaboration with Minerva Art Academy students

17.45 hrs: Talk by artist, researcher and photographer Joke Robaard
To further propagate the opportunities of Dictionary Dressings, researcher Joke Robaard, who has a keen focus on production networks in her own practice, will discuss the ambivalence between the generalised, basic vestimentary words defined in the dictionary and the more saturated words seen in fashion rhetoric or personal narratives.

Femke de Vries is an artist / researcher in fashion where she explores the interaction between clothing as (material) objects of use and fashion as a process of value production.
– www.femkedevries.com –

Femke studied Fashion Design at Amsterdam Fashion Institute and graduated cum laude in Fashion Strategy at the ArtEZ Fashion Masters in Arnhem. Dictionary Dressings is her ongoing research project that uses the nature of the dictionary definition as a “zero condition” of a piece of clothing to decode clothes and explore an alternative fashion vocabulary. The exhibition features a selection from the Dictionary Dressings archive and works by Femke de Vries, BLESS, Conny Groenewegen, Elisa van Joolen, Ruby Hoette and Sanne van den Elzen. The underlying research, comprising an image archive and theoretical reflection by Barbara Brownie and Joke Robaard, is brought together in the book Dictionary Dressings. Available at bur0 Gr0ningen!

The 24/7/365 DISPLAY of bur0 Gr0ningen is turned into a Dictionary Dressings Workspace where the project is activated by workshop participants. During the exhibition Femke organizes workshops. The dates will be announced on our website.

Dictionary definitions are constructed to be factual and rational and as a consequence the entries for items of clothing show no reference to the ephemeral or immaterial character of fashion. They describe the characteristics of the items, their use and their relation to the body but never mention fashion or style. Take the Dutch definition of a glove for example: “Handschoen: bekleding van de hand” (literally translated to English as Glove: covering of the hand).

This new perspective opens up an inclusive playfield in fashion where hybrid, fluid ways of reading, seeing, defining and making are facilitated. Overlapping and interlinking theory with practice, it pushes beyond trends and accepted social and design codes offering an approach that contributes to the broader cultural discourse of fashion.

Opening hours Dictionary Dressings:
Wednesday – Saturday 12.00 – 17.00 hrs
and by appointment +31(0)503138260
Dictionary Dressings Workspace @ the 24/7/365 DISPLAY
Closed during school holidays

With special thanks to Kunstraad Groningen, Creative Industries Funds NL, Gemeente Groningen, Mamamini and Zijlstra Naaimachines.

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