Image Credits (left to right): Arielle Bobb-Willis, New Jersey 02, 2017. Arielle Bobb-Willis, New Orleans, 2018. Arrielle Bobb-Willis, New Jersey 01, 2017.

Fashion, Anxiety and Society: Subversion

With Lucia Cuba, Fawn Krieger, and Otto von Busch

Fashion, Anxiety, and Society
is a conversation series curated by Kristen Owens. Organized in conjunction with Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s fall exhibition, French Fashion, Women, and the First World War, these monthly conversations explore contemporary questions of gender, labor, justice, and subversion as they relate to fashion. Other conversations in the series include:

Fashion, Anxiety and Society: Gender
With Margaret H. Darrow and Kate Strasdin, moderated by April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary, creators of Dressed: The History of Fashion podcast
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fashion, Anxiety and Society: Labor
With Marissa Nuncio, Minh-Ha T. Pham and Elizabeth Wissinger; conversation curated and moderated by Sara Ziff
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Fashion, Anxiety and Society: Justice
With Rikki Byrd, Rhea Combs, Tanisha C. Ford and Eric Darnell Pritchard
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Meet the Speakers
Lucia Cuba’s work approaches fashion, textiles, design, and the exploration of garments and other wearable forms as performative and political devices, broadening the understanding of the role of design objects from purely functional, commercial, or aesthetic considerations, to social, ethical, and political perspectives. As a fashion designer and scholar, Cuba is interested in issues of gender, biopolitics, health, and global fashion practices. She has developed projects concerned with health, activism, education, and the study of non-Western fashion systems.

Cuba received an MFA in fashion design and society from Parsons and a BSc in social psychology from Cayetano Heredia University (Peru), where she also undertook MA studies in educational psychology and PhD studies in public health. Her work has been exhibited at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum (Rotterdam), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Museo Amparo (Puebla), Albuquerque Museum (NM), OCT Art & Design Gallery (Shenzhen), BRIC Arts Media (New York), Fashion Space Gallery (London), Sur Gallery (Toronto), and ART LIMA (Lima), among other cultural venues.

Cuba is an independent designer. She is currently assistant professor of fashion design at Parsons and visiting professor of garments and textiles at the School of Arts and Design, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (LIM).

Fawn Krieger is a New York-based artist whose multi-genre works examine themes of touch, ownership, and exchange. Her Flintstonian tactility and penchant for scale compressions reveal an unlikely collision of private and public, where intimate moments also serve as social ruptures. She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design and her MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at The Kitchen, Art in General, Nice & Fit Gallery, The Moore Space, Von Lintel Gallery, Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Human Resources, Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Real Art Ways, Soloway Gallery, and Neon>fdv. The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, NY Arts, Flash Art, and Texte zur Kunst have written about her work. Krieger has received many grants from the Art Matters Foundation, John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund, and the Jerome Foundation, among others. She serves as the grants officer and education director at The Keith Haring Foundation and is a consultant for the Berlin-based MFA and PhD programs at Transart Institute—part of the Else Foundation. She is an adjunct faculty member at Adelphi University.

Krieger’s project OUTFIT is a line of hand-made, modular and practical work-wear informed by Cold War “soft power” consumerism: propagandistic merchandise in the form of domestic luxury goods, implemented as a medium of protest. These constructions are experiments in holding materialist, feminist, and socialist ideals simultaneously. Framed as a mail-order economy, OUTFIT is informed by East German and Soviet mail order catalogues, which Krieger collects. OUTFITS are designed for working bodies moving through urban spaces from morning through night. This project continues Krieger’s exploration of how physical matter holds things like memory, experience, and ideals (values non-commodifiable), and how to access, expose, and hold these assets, notably in a digital and economically inequitable era.

Otto von Busch, PhD, is associate professor of integrated design at Parsons School of Design. In his artistic practice and research, he explores participatory forms of fashion reform, where fashion acts as a collective experience of empowerment, liberation, and shared aliveness. Over the last decades, he has examined alternative perspectives on fashion and crafts, from hacktivism, Buddhism, and imaginal mysticism. Some of his latest works examine fashion as social power and as energy and embodied emotion, utilizing the lenses of biology and neuroscience.

Meet the Curator
Kristen J. Owens is an arts administrator, curator, researcher, and archivist with interests in visual culture, fashion, and African American studies. She works at the intersection of material preservation, information access, and arts education. As a curator, she has co-created exhibitions including Performing Fashion: New York City at NYU’s 80WSE Gallery (2017) and Dressed at Rutgers University-Newark’s Paul Robeson Galleries (2018). As a researcher, she has presented papers on African American photography and conduct literature, such as etiquette manuals, at conferences including Fashioning the Black Body in Bondage and Freedom (Brooklyn, 2017) and the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference (San Diego, 2017). Owens holds an MA in visual culture: costume studies and an MS in library and information science from New York University’s dual degree program with LIU Palmer. She holds a BA in fashion studies and has returned to her alma mater, Montclair State University, as a lecturer in that subject.

Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.