MOVE! at MoMA

The New York gallery last week teamed up artists and fashion designers - including Terence Koh and Cynthia Rowley - for a new breed of creative events, featuring fashion, theatre, dance and performance art

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Cecilia Dean, the co-founder and editor of Visionaire, has partnered with style journalist David Colman and MoMA's Klaus Biesenbach to curate MOVE!, a series of performance-based installations that pair prolific artists with fashion designers. The two day extravaganza, which took place in New York last week, featured world renowned artists like Terence Koh and designers such as Cynthia Rowley, and promises a new kind of fashion and art event comprising theatre, dance and performance art. For two days, MoMA's PS1 bathed in the light of dance, joy, fashion and art. In their conversation with Dazed, Dean and Koh discussed fashion shows, beauty and what fashion needs now…

Dazed Digital: How did you become involved with MOVE!
Cecilia Dean:
Klaus Biesenbach, the curator at MoMa, has wanted to bring fashion to PS1 for a long time and he conducted several roundtable discussions on the subject. David Colman and I met at these discussions and realized that we were having similar thoughts, having gone to so many shows. We loved this idea that people would come in and interact with and navigate around something. In order to bring the fashion to PS1, the designers needed to be paired with artists. Luckily, we knew exactly which designers we wanted!

DD: Is this kind of performance art what you feel fashion and art needs now?
Terence Koh:
Yes, they can be beautiful but also very hard. Sometimes, I am not so sure they need anything from each other. Art can seem like a cold stone and stones don't need clothes!
Cecilia Dean: Well, I think cross-pollination always yields the best results. It's something the artists may not have thought of before and the designers, too, must think in a new way, however, fashion shows really are performance art pieces that last fifteen minutes and never happen again.

DD: It’s similar to the balance of soft and hard at, for example, a Rodarte show. You never forget it…
Cecilia Dean:
In my work, I've always liked a cross-pollination of fashion and art and the question - is it a book, a magazine, or an art object? The same could be said of MOVE! as the New York Times weren't quite sure which section to place coverage of it. It was a telling, yet wonderful, thing. It's important to stretch people's definition of things, including publishing.

DD: What is the idea behind your piece and which collaborations struck you the most?

Terence Koh: I think the power of truth in beauty is always striking and beautiful. My and Italo Zucchelli’s piece is about two human beings who are lost in the past and they are trying to find themselves in the future.
Cecilia Dean: I think the most ambitious collaboration is Olaf Breuning and Cynthia Rowley. Their piece is really about the creative process and the idea is that the viewer can watch every step of this process. Cynthia has designed forty-eight pieces to be worn by a series of models while Olaf pours paint on their heads and then photographs the result. You can return three hours later to find more dresses and Olaf's images hanging, too. I love the idea of watching the creative process happen. It's wild, fun and beautiful.

DD: What are your aspirations for this event?

Terence Koh: My hopes are quite ambitious. I would like it to be something beautiful to truly remember. Oh, and I would love to get press!
Cecilia Dean: Klaus's dream is that this becomes an annual thing. The point was to do something action based and dynamic. We didn't want to hang things on a wall or put dresses on a mannequin. We wanted to bite the bullet and take advantage of the momentum we were feeling. You have to take advantage of momentum.

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