(GO Art Space, Surabaya, 25 June until 8 July 2011)The general understanding of fashion is always founded upon “mode”, the newest way to get dressed, to be up to date and to follow the latest trends. Fashion or mode is the popular fashion style in a culture. The development of the understanding of fashion is much wider than clothing, it also includes things like cuisine, language, art, architecture, sports, games and other lifestyles. The problem with style (which includes fashion or mode) is that it has always changed rapidly and dynamically.
The etymological root of the word fashion (from language structure) comes from the Latin word factio which means “to make” or “to do”. From this word the public took the word faksi, which means “group” in technical political terminology. Another word that the word “fashion” is derived from is facere which means “to make” or “to do”. Because of that, the real word “fashion” became the term to describe any activity. So, fashion is something that is “done” with someone. The meaning of the word fashion is not (only) used as it is today, which understands fashion simply as something “worn” by someone.
However, this is what happened in daily reality. In many studies of fashion, the function and meaning covers many aspects, including social behavior. At base, clothes help the user to cover some part of the body, so that the clothes serve the purpose of modesty. From this our clothes can be viewed as functional. Clothes can protect our body from bad weather or even when we play sports, clothes can protect us from injury. In the process, fashion can also show cultural display because it can be cultural communication. For example, somebody can be identified by where they come from through the clothes that they wear because it displays their cultural identity.
In some cases, fashion can improve someones social status. People will make conclusions about who you are from what you wear. You are what you wear. If that conclusion can be proven or not, we do not know. These things influence how people think about you and how they act towards you, in your social life, whether serious or while relaxing, your sense of style and much more.
Fashion, then, can be a metamorphosis like “social skin and our culture”, or to make the body look longer, even though it is not really longer, there are aspects that can not only connect a body with society but also separate them. Besides, fashion is the way that someone expresses their identity, because when someone chooses their clothes, whether in a store or in their house, they can be identifying and displaying themselves.
This is not the case when someone has to wear a uniform because those types of clothes serve to diminish their individuality in order to force a collective identity. As we can see, in the case in which our government employees have to wear a suit or batik korpri. It is not only to raise the esprit de corps in their environment, but also signals their shared ideology through their style of dress and creates a collective identity marking the bureaucrat’s social class, which is still is at the top of the social hierarchy. The style of dress, in this context, clearly displays their status.
Finally, how we dress up is one small part of the issue of fashion in our lifestyle and other aspects of life. From the explanation that was mentioned above we can give a sign that the real fashion problem is not only about the substance or material, it is also about other things, such as attitude and how people think. This also includes any lifestyles and aspects of life that have been “touched” by the fashion world: cuisine, gadgets, language, art, automobiles, architecture, sports games and much more. The way people think is evidence of some new value, practice, luxury, and things like that which are used in all aspects. The existence of these things became fashioned (modiste) and dynamic movement. The fashion world will invade (attack, bother) the way that we think with new things and the latest trends.
Then, in which way will we take this exhibition? For sure, this simple curatorial will try to give the artists of this exhibition ability to explore and create awareness of fashion through art with a broad meaning and a new understanding (artist version). The current meaning of fashion is connected with garments and models. Fashion, once again, is not that narrow.
Precisely, the artists of this exhibition were hoping to give a wider meaning and understanding of fashion from a material aspect, a way of thinking that until now was an ideological question. The sketch of this curatorial also can not impose a strict framework that proper artwork is supposed to be realistic. Clearly not. This will open all the possibilities of visual art work. This theme allows a chance for the artist to create a fashion problem painting from many sides, it can portray fashion from mass media with all its problems. It can be approached from the angle of irony, satire, intimacy, appropriation (change again the base of the art work (for example, monumental from the maestro) which already existed, even in the abstract for this fashion problem.
The simple target from this exhibition, surely, will give a description for the public of the artists’ opinion and simple observations for the “material/illusion” named fashion. Congratulations for the art work.