Clothing is one of the most significant attributes of human self-expression. In patriarchal, traditional, and often discriminatory countries like Georgia, clothing frequently becomes a way to protest and sometimes even statements of a political or social issue.
For Queer people, who are one of the main targets of prejudiced culture, clothing takes on the concept and meaning of the armor. It also often indicates belonging to a particular community, a group, or a safe space. Although anti-fashion as a subculture is opposed to fashion, it always becomes part of this culture and nourishes it.
Similarly, queer culture, which in its essence often is in sharp conflict with the dominant culture, becomes the main inspiration of fashion and creates new values in it. Queer culture and anti-fashion often intersect and form an organic world. Fashion takes on inspiration from Queer and underground cultures and subcultures.
Often this inspiration is limited to just taking the contextless form, and the main content of queer culture remains in the shadows. This act discredits the queer culture, and the values created in queer art become a massive fashion trend without honest appreciation and credit to its origin.
Aka Prodiashvili - Fuck Culture
The work of fashion designer Aka Prodiashvili is the centerpiece and mood maker of the exhibition. While writing on the dress can be intentionally misleading in its message, this piece touches two main themes, queer angst and struggle against the dominant culture and what the mentioned culture perceives us to be.
Uta Bekaia - Britannica
My name is Britannica. I'm a multidimensional being. In the whirlpool of information, I always try to find my true faces. My faces are always trendy and ever-changing. I always convert my skin too. There is cosmos hidden inside my face and skin, and because of that, I am a part of everything. In actuality, my true face is nothing, my skin is empty. My journey has no actual goal. My only purpose is never-ending change.
David Apakidze - Gilded Fleece - Colchian non-binary character
Gilded fleece is a queer body in a patriarchal society. A body with magical power. A body with political power. A manipulated body. A body that is a prosperity of the state. A soulless body. A poisonous body. A body not belonging to a soul that inhabits it. A social body, is simultaneously unacceptable to society.
GOD ERA - I hear every thought. I see every shadow.
Clothing speaks of our status, especially if you are a woman. It can have political power, especially when you are a woman. GOD ERA’s ears are inspired by the rainbow portrait of Elisabeth 1st, where she demonstrates the power that in a patriarchal society is typically attributed to men. One of the main materials for GODERA is biodegradable vegan leather that they create from SCOBY. Creating this material is an artistic process as well as an environmentally conscious decision for artist.
Mariko Chanturia x Lasha Kabanashvili - For all the horrible things we do out of the closet
production of a product of the production of producer of production
[OF] desiring for desirable for desiring for desirer for desiring
[FOr] product of the production of a product of producer of the product
[OF] desirable for desirer for desirable for desiring for desirable
IS desiring for the desirable product of production
IS Production of desirer for producer
[IS] desirer IS desirable IS product IS producer
...continuously consuming and being consumed
...continuously producing and being produced
...continuously organizing and being organized
...continuously signifying and being signified
“[one] is sick because he is badly constructed”
it must be disassembled and then reconstructed
K.O.I - UNFASHIONABLE
KOI's Project "UNFASHIONABLE" explores queer self-expression in relation to fashion, with dissatisfaction about queer representation and a bit of irony. From coded, clandestine details to loud, in-your-face boldness, fashion has always been a major part of queer self-identification and self-determination.
Historically, queer people have had to be extremely resourceful in their self-expression, since mainstream brands or even albeit queer-led high fashion houses have not always been accessible or sufficient to the marginalized communities. More often than not, queer people have had to improvise, innovate, and self-make. The queer visual expression created in underground queer communities and spaces has long become another trend to drive unethical consumption in our late-stage capitalistic society. The commercial fashion world has unapologetically stolen from marginalized communities, stripping looks of their context, turning them into soulless, forged pseudo-queer fashion.
All the while the majority of vulnerable queer youth remain alienated from these commercialized versions of themselves. Using visuals as a shorthand for queerness has perpetuated a certain perception within queer and public spaces about what a queer person/queer body looks like. This type of simulative queerness is often devoid of its origin of struggle against oppression at the hands of the cis, heteronormative, patriarchal world, where non-queers can assume queer style and position themselves as fashionably queer, while visually non-distinct queer people get questioned and sidetracked.
Could our view of queerness ever be detached from its visual dimension? In a world that remains hostile towards us, could we use this disguise of detachment as a tool in our fight against the back-handed, superficial acceptance? Is there a way to stop the industries from profiting off our backs, while still treating queerness as something to grow out of or take off at the end of the day?
Andro Dadiani - Untitled
Andro Dadiani is an incognito performer, visual artist, and poet that hides behind the mask due to the homophobic environment. The costume becomes a crucial part of his artistic identity, at the same time restraining him and giving him creative freedom as well.
Matt Shally - Shit On My Parade
The project shows the Local Queer Culture scene, which is in the shadows, from a classy vision. Every picture represents the intimacy that a person has during his organic life. The toilet is the only place where you can hear your deep thoughts and pouring water. During this process, I can hear one song - "Rain on my Parade" by Barbara Streisand. Song tells us that success is possible, and you can be proud of everything you make. In my mind, the definition of the word "Rain" does not fit our situation. We are doing everything, which principally is our job, the only difference is that someone is working in the office and we are working in art. Oops, I forgot the main difference - they have money, and we got expelled. I tried to represent it in a Boogie way with no recourses. It reminded me of how controversial things were in the 1990s and 2000s. Every unapologetic icon inspired me. The funny thing is now we have social media to do all that stuff. These days Georgia acts the same way but with networks. It simply means that every kind of artwork you create that does not get the course of the direction you want is "Shitting on your parade". That is the only recognition you get. The visuals, scenes, poses, toilet, and cheap silver shoes worn by every Georgian artist included in the project represent that we are in the same shoes. All of this matched the thing I wanted to tell.
Xosilita - She Knows
The short film “She Knows” is a surrealistic visualization of our inner disbalance, a critical situation taking part in us, telling about the ambivalence of the universe and humans as a part of it. I wanted to emphasize a question of the struggle we have daily on a level of unconsciousness and how hard we try to conquer and unite our different poles. Often the split mind and body become mysterious and even dangerous pushing us to the heroic limits. The main character of this film stands personally versus crisis and aims to understand this kind of universal law, observe the transition, fully experience it and transform it into the main instinct of survival.
“As a multimedia artist, performer and model, it was challenging to create something reflecting anti-fashion. Observing the constantly evolving loop of fashion and anti-fashion fighting for superiority even though one can not exist without the other, I’ve decided to draw parallels between the rebellion of self-expression and the unconscious battles happening in us which serve as self-growth-accelerators.”
Solomon Aphroditus - Transgressive
Short Film By Solomon Aphroditus Explores The Potential Of Authentic Expression Of Identity In Digital Space. In The Surrealist Atmosphere Of The Film, The Artist Is Represented With Their Transhuman Avatar And Shows A Fictitious Experience Of Freeing From Coded Norms Ingrained In The Culture. With A Nonconventional Approach, Digital Fashion Offers Endless Possibilities To Express Identity. In The Film, The Naked Body Is Reimagined As An Article Of Clothing, That We Wear In The Digital World. The Exceedingly Bared Body Is Demonstrated With Non-Functional Costumes And Accessories And Turns Into An Artefact That Expresses An Aspiration For Nonbinary Consciousness.