Within the first few seconds of meeting or seeing another human being we have already developed a narrative of who that person might be. Without any prior knowledge or truths about an individual our minds draw from categories and make associations that may or may not ascribe to this unfamiliar figure. Regardless of time, location, or status the way one presents her/himself has historically weighed heavily on the perception others have. Particularly, the way one is Fashioned is quite telling. Even the most minute details, from a button to fabric choice, can unveil a trajectory of traditions. Whether we intend this or not, self presentation serves as a window into our lifestyles, morals, cultures, and so much more. The tool of visual assessment through fashioning is so primary that we take these bits of telling information for granted.
What if the imagery we have become accustomed to did not quite match up with the figure who bears it? Where would we look and what conclusions would we draw? The collection of artists in Corridor Gallery's newest exhibition, Fashioned in Time, provoke the viewer to consider the role of the figure within various contexts. The works address a strong range of topics from racial and gender identity to iconography.
Through the use of Classical Western literature and mythology Elizabeth Colomba displaces the African American female. The subjects and symbols in Colomba's paintings reveal a great deal of the realities of limitations placed on African Americans throughout time. The women in Jamea Richmond-Edwards’ paintings manage to be simultaneously strong and vulnerable. Their meticulously worked dresses are almost as captivating as their gaze. By eliminating the form all together, Meridith McNeal's silhouetted pieces draw attention to the absence of the dated, historical garments. By giving her audience the freedom to imagine the clothing and women, much is revealed about the ways we have been socialized to see. In the same vein, Eileen Karakashian’s mysterious paintings of faceless mannequins beckon a narrative that only the viewer can subjectively create. Alisha Wormsley’s photographic work “All This and Heaven Too” reference the notions of time, shifting visual language, and African American identity, by visually contrasting time specific symbols. Hugh Hayden’s usage of African American hair braiding techniques to anthropomorphize iconic animals recontextualizes the familiar. Through abstraction his work subtly raises racial issues of power pertaining to the body.
In a time where we are bombarded with an over-saturation of imagery it becomes difficult to filter through visuals. Our world is quickly moving towards overlapping collages of historical reference. Elizabeth Colomba, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Meridith McNeal, Eileen Karakashian, Alisha Wormsley, and Hugh Hayden offer refreshingly unique interventions to the discourse of representation as well as add to the conversation. We invite you to challenge the standard definition of fashion and consider its social implications with Fashioned in Time November 13th, 2011- January 7th, 2012 at Corridor Gallery 334 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn New York.