ashion, Performance and Photography An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project
In the early 20th century, fashion and photography were indelibly wedded through the efforts of a number of photographers, fashion designers, and magazine publishers. Once these cultural power shapers created the form, fashion photography took on a life of its own and became—perhaps always was—art. This art form has since been elevated to heights such that being a fashion photographer can be seen as very important chapter in many well-known photographers’ career: designers rely on them; models request them; magazines use their work: celebrities choose them for shoots; and the power they have to represent others is beyond compare in today’s, 21st century image-driven world.
Following our first Fashion and Photography conference in 2018, we are now including the subject of Performance for the next phase of the project’s evolution, further broadening the interdisciplinary mix and range of potential discussions and activities. Whether dance, theatre, drama theory, directing or performance practice, the different aspects of the performing arts will be explored and developed, especially with the new challenges of technology along with the changes in audiences and performers in the 21st century.
Our Global Fashion, Performance and Photography event will examine the dynamics of all these (and related) fields. In a world which is experiencing the transforming realities of globalization, with people engaging at all levels and in diverse ways, the intersections and engagements created at the interface nexus of these three modes of representation are paramount. They involve cultural, social, commercial, artistic, financial, and political issues, and from the bottom to the top can determine power relations, careers, sexual norms and deviance, and more.
We live in a period of so-called hyper-consumption which encourages individuals to consume for their own personal pleasure. Fast fashion, trends in sustainable and recyclable fashion, the rise of performance fashion and fashion as performance art denotes a society now defined by movement, fluidity, and flexibility. Performance from ballet to theatre, the catwalk to festivals, is increasingly oriented towards pleasure and satisfaction, a fleeting hedonism which quickly changes focus. The experience is mixed with tensions, conflicts, and even anxiety. The uncertainties and fears of 21st century living are reflected in fashion, performance and all forms of visual representations.
This conference aims to consider ways in which we can re-imagine our practices in relation to others, our history, and the environment with a view to forming a selective publication to engender further collaboration and discussion, whilst also continuing the evolution of the project.
Unlike other conferences or gatherings, our event proposes to step outside the traditional conference setting and offer opportunities for photographers, designers, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, academics, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions that are fruitful and conducive to broadening horizons and sparking future projects, collaborations, and connections.
We are excited to accept proposals for presentations, displays, exhibits, round tables, panels, interactive workshops and more. Below is a non-exhaustive list of possible approaches, all of them residing at the point of connection between Fashion, Performance and Photography. Themes may include, but are not limited to;
- History / Eras / Styles
- Limits (nudity, leather, sexuality)
- Cities / Centres of power – Milan, NY, Paris
- Power / Power dynamics
- Who’s behind the camera / Who’s in front / Who’s in charge?
- Age – from adolescent to ancient
- Careers – models, photographers
- Art / Commodity / Marketing Tool
- Ownership of image
- Celebrity and Music – think Bowie / Adam Ant / Grace Jones / Annie Lennox / Madonna / Lady Gaga – all of whom have created themselves as fashion icons
- Gender and celebrity – again, think Bowie / Adam Ant / Grace Jones / Annie Lennox whose fashion sense and androgyny made headlines and careers
- Sports / Sports Figures
- Body image – who determines what body type to photograph / who determines what’s sexy?
- Manipulation of image / identity
- Crime / Criminals
- Digital technologies
- Selfies / Instagram – fashion icons with their own accounts and photos, such as Iman
- History of the Fashion Industry in photos
- Culture / Regional Issues / Empowerment /
- Retail / Commodities / Commercialization of beauty
- Performance – the Catwalk / Dance
- Tourism – Fashion week is a big draw in NY, Milan, Paris, and photos are at the core
- Display / Exhibit
And more. If you don’t see something here that you think belongs, please drop us a line! We are happy to entertain other ideas that examine the rich, generative, and exciting space that these two fields of power and art create.
Our main goal is to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at an international level, in a dynamic and interactive setting. Thus, we welcome participants from all relevant disciplines, professions and vocations (NGO personnel, aid workers, researchers, mental and physical health professionals, educators, human rights activists, counsellors, social workers, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, politicians, business owners, military personnel, photographers, designers, editors, journalists, customs workers and members of the border patrol, labour specialists, historians, sociologists, psychologists, economists, anthropologists, ethnographers social media experts, artists and many more).