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Sympoiesis: Coexisting Fashion Systems

  • Finals

When most people think about fashion, the commercial fashion industry comes to their mind. This system is made up of many different players, for example apparel manufacturers, retailers, brands, conglomerations, and the media. To keep the fashion industry alive, all of these players usually need to turn a profit, for which they rely on division, alienation and mystification: all in order to drive consumption.

ArtEZ Masters Kortestraat 27 Arnhem, Adres event: Stadhuis Arnhem, Koningstraat 38 in Arnhem

Dit is een ArtEZ finals event

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Sympoiesis: Coexisting Fashion Systems

In the exhibition Sympoiesis: Coexisting Fashion Systems, we, as Generation 30 of MA Critical Fashion Practices, propose a different way of engaging with fashion, moving away from the fashion industry’s focus on consumption. Instead, we base our approach to fashion on sympoiesis, shifting the focus towards a system where “making-with”, or producing collectively, is key, and where resources and power are shared among all participants.

This new pathway facilitates thinking beyond the dominant commercial fashion framework, and opens up the possibility for multiple and coexisting fashion systems. In Sympoiesis: Coexisting Fashion Systems, we acknowledge the existence of this multiplicity, and explore alternatives to making and experiencing fashion. As critical fashion practitioners, we need to stretch the boundaries of what is perceived as “normal” and “accepted” within fashion, and create space for experiment and regeneration. We consider, for example, how fashion acts in the digital environment; how it co-evolves with nature; how it acts beyond the modern and colonial aesthetic order; how it can be a collective craft system; how we can unlearn through self-organised activities; and how we can perceive fashion’s effect by using our bodies.

Sharing knowledge and (re)sources can make us realise that everything and everyone is connected. By creating a small and diverse fashion network, and by embodying sympoiesis, we aim to highlight the potential of a multi-layered fashion system. Let’s take the opportunity to expand our understanding, consider different perspectives, and choose collaboration.

Bekijk ook de Internationale fashion conferentie 'Ways of Caring - Practicing Solidarity