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NEW YORK — Fashion certainly isn’t lacking for art collaborations. But Cecilia Dean, editor and co-founder of Visionaire, and David Colman of The New York Times are hoping to take those frequent bedfellows into a whole new arena with an exhibit at MoMA PS1. Named “Move!,” the two-day event, on Oct. 30 and 31, will feature 12 artist-designer collaborations — Terence Koh with Italo Zucchelli of Calvin Klein, Brody Condon with Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Jonah Bokaer with Narciso Rodriguez, Mary Ellen Carroll with Thom Browne, among others. The point of difference here? They’re all doing interactive performance-based installations. “It’s not about how I can use your art to make my fashion look better,” says Cynthia Rowley, who’s working with Olaf Breuning, “or how you can make a garment from your art.”
So while some of the partnerships are more straightforward — Kalup Linzy will be wearing Diane von Furstenberg as he performs, while Rashaad Newsome recreates his “Shade Compositions” with dancers dressed in Alexander Wang — others are far more involved. Marc Jacobs is teaming up with Rob Pruitt to riff the runway concept; Dan Colen’s piece with Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez will involve surveillance cameras, and the four Brooklyn artists-cum-club kids known as the Cheryls are hosting a makeover workshop with American Apparel. Men’s wear designer Robert Geller, meanwhile, will be creating costumes for Ryan McNamara and the scores of dance instructors who will be teaching him (and willing audience members) how to soft-shoe, plié, and, yes, strip dance. “I’m doing a very old-school French boudoir-type of outfit for that one,” remarks Geller.
And then there is Ohne Titel’s Alexa Adams and Flora Gill’s collaboration with Tauba Auerbach — their second, in fact. The designers already worked with Auerbach on jewelry for their spring runway. This new project is “much more integrated,” Adams teases. “We’re exploring the thought process.” Things to expect here: a two-tone room, dancers clustered together in an undulating knot and lots and lots of bodysuits.
The PS1 art-style mash-up was actually initiated last year by director Klaus Biesenbach, who invited a number of editors and designers to the museum with one request: find an interesting way to bring fashion to the institution. “Cecilia and I were of a similar mind-set,” says Colman of how he and Dean scored the co-curator titles. “Doing another fashion week there was not terribly appealing to us.” But the current performance-based hook didn’t gel until this summer, when Dean visited the Tino Sehgal and Marina Abramovic shows at the Guggenheim and MoMA. “The exhibits weren’t about going to a space and looking at stuff on a wall,” says Dean. “You had to go and experience and deal with a particular situation.”
As for the grammatically charged moniker, she explains, “The performances will be moving, but we also wanted the audience to be moving around. It’s a very fluid exhibit. I also want people to come, have fun and be moved like I was by [Sehgal’s and Abramovic’s] shows. Adds Colman, “ ‘Experiential’ is going to be on the Merriam-Webster hot-word list for 2010.”
Move! will be admission-free and open to the public. A Halloween party, hosted by Visionaire, will take place on the 30th.