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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tilda Swinton’s performance of “Cloakroom”


extracts from the article by — emphasis added by me for the key points relating to my research:

It’s not every day you line up at a cloakroom and hand over your ticket to Tilda Swinton, who hurries back towards the rails to fetch your stuff and delicately presents it to you. But that was what happened at Swinton and fashion historian Olivier Saillard’s Cloakroom performance in Florence this week, where the audience were invited to leave things throughout the play, which Tilda then contemplated and interacted with, from her licking a jacket to throwing herself full force on top of a coat and burying her face in a hood, in a gesture of bringing out the poetry in ‘ordinary’ clothes.

Fashion churns out an endless stream of products – whether fast or high-end – and Saillard and Swinton’s performance asked us to press pause and appreciate the things we already own. As Olivier Saillard commented in his notes for the performance: “The collection takes life, built up on what’s acquired and not on novelty, wandering the opposite path to that which was constructed by fashion.”

A Fondazione Pitti Discovery project staged in the gilded Saloncino at the Medici-commissioned Teatro della Pergola – the oldest opera house in Italy now focusing on drama productions – it is the third instalment of the duo’s Impossible Wardrobe (Swinton showcasing fashion archive pieces in a performance inspired by Saillard’s position as director of the Palais Galliera in Paris) and Eternity Dress (the making of a dress on Swinton’s body) and the result of a three-year collaboration.

“We kind of completed a trilogy with this one,” Swinton said after the performance. “It’s a completion of that enquiry which is something about the soul of clothes. Maybe the interesting thing about clothes is that people live in them, and that there’s nothing else really to be said, and so it’s trying to trace that and concentrate on that, and to honour our clothes, rather than Coco Chanel or Napoleon or anybody else. Actually our clothes.

During the 90-minute performance, Swinton – in a graceful and demure long-sleeved black dress with black patent stilettos – continuously repeated the ritualistic act of approaching the audience’s garments and silently communicating with them, while Saillard then took each piece to hang on the rails along the wall.

“One of the inspirations of this piece was the fact that for last two years I’ve been slowly going through my mother’s wardrobe,” Swinton said. “She died two years ago when we were making Impossible Wardrobe, and so it’s been very much a part of our inquiry, this whole question of clothes outliving us very, very often. The body’s gone, the clothes are still here. And there’s a tradition of people inheriting clothes. Certainly in Scotland people tend to wear their grandfather’s kilts. There’s a feeling that clothes are to be passed down from generation to generation. It’s only relatively recently that we have a fetish for newness.”

In a way, the performance had its own overtones of the fetishisation of clothes, but in the sense of imbuing an object with magical powers rather than a more superficial one. “It’s not really about appearance at all. It’s about spirit, I suppose, and the life lived in these garments,” Swinton said. “The more I do the piece, the more I realise that it’s about making relationships. Something comes, you go ‘Ah! I can make a relationship with this’. And you know, we all have relationships with an old jersey that people have told us to throw out, but we’re not going to because you know what, we have a very strong relationship with that thing.”

TildaSwinton_the_art_of_the_everyday-Dazed (zip archived 18/01/2015)

on this site, I’ll be exploring the human touch in handmade objects, using the idea (feeling? what-if question?) that there’s a transfer of atoms when objects are made, and when they are hand-made I think the *human* atoms get blended (even in a slight way) with the object’s atoms, and it makes us relate to them more – we ‘feel’ the humanity, or the soul perhaps (our common atoms/frequencies). this will allow me to research across different topics and disciplines, and to apply “what-if” questions to try answer and explore.

this idea is based on my reply to a discussion on haptics on my textiles class forum, and some earlier thoughts about analog audio vs digital audio recordings (see below & attached)

note that there’ll mostly be rough notes/stream of consciousness ideas here for a bit of fun, so nothing really to see here – move along

I don’t have any scientific proof, but it’s just a feeling / theory (knowing? remembering?) that I’ve had over the years. I had similar thoughts about sounds, and the way music is created – for me, it seems to have a more emotional connection when created by humans using analog methods rather than digitally with computers. I think this is to do with the frequencies. atoms make up everything, and are charged by different electrons (at different frequencies). I think there’s some kind of transference when things are made, the atoms change and are mixed together. and when they are hand-made I think the *human* atoms get blended (even in a slight way) with the object’s atoms, and it makes us relate to them more – we ‘feel’ the humanity, or the soul perhaps (our common atoms/frequencies). i guess it’s fun to do some ‘what if’ thinking (as jude hill calls it & likes to do). eg. what if this were true. could it explain how you can usually recognise something as hand made vs machine made. what if you had the machine make objects with errors/imperfections and made over a longer period like handmade objects, would we still see them as machine made or human made.

I made some (very rough) notes a few years ago whilst pondering the music atoms/frequencies & various readings:

I should think more about it / research it to expand the thoughts and see if there’s any scientific reason that might back up my ideas. basically they’re just musings at the moment, but make sense to me if that makes sense also 🙂

Discussion Topic 2_ Haptic textiles | OCA student Discussion Topic 2_ Haptic textiles | OCA student

piano_sounds-AliaK_com  (zip archived 18/01/2015)

rearranging_the_patterns_of_the_atoms_monads-AliaK_com (zip archived 18/01/2015)