Deadline: Mar 27, 2021 - 5:00 pm
Curated by Josée Chartrand, Dress & Escapism showcases dramatic examples of social and political art from the stages and clubs of Edmonton by individual performers (Holly Von Sinn, Claudia Hartout, Rusty Strutz and Darrin Hagen), performance companies (Guys in Disguise and Send in the Girls Burlesque) and film (Trevor Anderson Films).
This exhibition invites visitors to look closely at costumes typically only seen at a distance in performance. A closer view brings details into focus that may otherwise get overlooked. Tears, stains and missing and loose sequins are all part of a costume’s life, and these imperfections are evidence of the rigours that these artists not only put their costumes through, but also their bodies. Viewed up close, the construction and designs of these costumes also come into focus. The under structures used to shape and pad out a drag silhouette are seldom seen, but are fundamental to the illusion of drag. Similarly, the featured burlesque costumes make visible the remarkable sturdiness and design of their rapid release closures—they must remain fixed in place until the artist chooses to release them, allowing the artists to tease their way out of their costume with ease.
While the exhibition highlights how construction details and wear uniquely illustrate the life of the featured costumes, the aesthetic artistry of the garments is its primary focus. Each costume tells a story unique to the persona of the artist who wore it.
The exhibition in on view from January 26 to March 27, 2021.