As The Pendulum Swings Between Trends And Value Systems, Attitudes Change And Dreams As Well.
There is no longer any taboos nor anything rebellious about wearing black. Black has lost most of its symbolic colour significance as well as its notorious anti-fashion note, since there is no single fashion. Wearing black mostly plays the role of what the wearer wishes to play, conveying the message the wearer wishes to send, and therefore dresses for (with a reference to earlier manifestations, styles and former meanings and conventions). Wearing black has become a reflective image of its own history: personal, theatrical, civic and moral values. It acts as a filter between the individual and the surrounding social world, which is expressed through the relationship between personal values and those assigned to colour symbolism, the clothing and socio-economic status.
The Act of Dressing
Inside today's fashion system it is difficult for the individual’s desire to create a unique version of the Self as it operates inside a web of mass-production. This causes a constant conflicting interplay between social equalisation and individual differentiation, which produces anxiety as much as pleasure and agency. As fitting in rather than standing out seems to be the dominant choice of most people in all cultures and social classes; clothing signifies either a belonging to or deviation from a social group, either as social control or freedom from the dominant culture. The disassociation contributes to the creation of sub-cultures: the birth of a new set of values.
To Conquer Through The Power of Dress
By dressing the model in one single colour palette of different cultural costumes implies a lack of a fixed identity, and therefore forces a subtle reconsideration of the perceptions of the (fixed) Self, common stereotypes and cultural assumptions that often are (Self-)projected onto the wearer in accordance with the costumes. The colour black and the act of dressing become a colour of all shades and the Jack of all trades, because of their ability to blur the boundaries of the social skin, and to transform the social body and social identities of garments, attitudes, formation of the body and gestures.
This performance facilitates an integration into the dominant culture: as when we see the same character in different facets, it implies the impossibility of knowability. And by acknowledging the opposing personas, the images are gesturing towards, not a style of Selfhood, but to styles of performance, unbound and engaged in anachronism, which depend entirely on reciprocity with the receiver(s).
This series is inspired by the song Blacknuss by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, the book BLACK The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau, and Room no. 9: The Kit-Cat Club at the National Portrait Gallery in London.