In celebration of the exhibition Boijmans van Beuningen at Rijksmuseum (opening on Friday, September 29th), which showcases extraordinary works from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen collection, ranging from Kusama to Monet, Pieter Bruegel to Cindy Sherman, and Bruce Nauman to Alicia Framis, Upstream Gallery presents another piece from Alicia Framis’ anti_dog series, coinciding with the pieces that will be on display at Rijksmuseum.
In the gallery’s private viewing space, Upstream Gallery is proud to present ANTI_DOG, COPYRIGHTING UNWANTED SENTENCES Birmingham, 2002 (2002). For anti_dog, Framis worked with the material Teijin Twaron, a Dutch invention that stimulated a revolution in the world of reinforcement, because it’s dog bite-, fire- and bullet-proof, five times stronger and significantly lighter than steel, therefore often used for bullet- and stab resistant vests. The anti_dog brand was introduced to protect women, especially women of color, in dangerous neighborhoods, against skinheads with their dogs and other aggressors.
The glossy, gold-like fiber in combination with designs inspired by famous designers such as Courrèges, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel, created the luxurious allure Framis was looking for. With this fabric, she created garments that hold the same qualities as the marginalized women who suffer from these types of aggressors: not as victims, but as strong, unique individuals with the freedom and protection to go everywhere they want.
“I want to make a statement that involves our modern way of life: charisma, fashion, uniqueness, singularity, and exoticism. For me, anti-violence is where creativity starts. anti_dog is a brand of products that combine creativity and protection.”
The collections coming out of the anti_dog label suggest optimum individual freedom as well as literal and figurative visibility, to counteract the societal tendency for panoptical protection. The garments were worn by women at demonstrations in several European cities that have a reputation for aggression against marginalized women. For each city, the collection would expand to fit the design needs of that specific situation.
For the dress shown at Upstream, Framis collaborated with a local housing estate in Birmingham, which resulted in five skirts, embroidered with various insults and obscenities that the women had directed at them. Dresses with phrases such as ‘Fuck you’ and ‘Go back to where you belong’, were paraded through Victoria Square, against the backdrop of Birmingham’s Council House. Because the sentences are copyrighted, they can never be used in public space again without risking a fine.
The anti_dog collection was presented in a performance in Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2002 and at the Dutch Pavillion at the 2003 Venice Biennale, curated by Rein Wolfs. Since then the works have been exhibited in numerous venues and institutions.
Upstream Focus: anti_dog | Alicia Framis
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