The exhibition title is a compilation of words including: text, texture, textiles, enclosure, and culture. The title asserts that a culture so focused on the written word disregards the variety of forms in which individuals can communicate with one another, and as a result loses the potential to bring the textures of diversity to a once one-dimensional discussion that is standardized in education. To encompass this idea, the word “text” has been bracketed, to signify “enclosure”.
Technology continues to expand our world and the ways in which we communicate. The traditional meaning of the term literacy has broadened beyond just the written word to now include media such as graphic novels, videos, dress, and more. These “new literacies” – the modern understanding of ways in which individuals communicate with each other – are attempting to gain validity in an academic world still narrowly focused on traditional reading and writing. While the existence of these literacies is recognized and discussed, their production has not yet gained acceptance as being a valid means of intellectual discourse.
The dissertation is the seminal piece of a PhD research program, yet few students have produced one in a format solely outside the written word. This creates a contradiction between scholars who acknowledge the importance of new literacy practices, yet do not accept their production as true intellectual work. As a student in a language and literacy department, I felt a need to address the call from scholars within the field to further the “ethos” knowledge of new literacies, an understanding beyond typographic forms, by writing a dissertation in a format which practices new literacies skills rather than traditional ones. This exhibition brings attention to taken-for-granted traditions in education that continue to marginalize individuals through the privileging of the written word, while helping to address the contradiction within my field.
Rather than merely recognizing oppression, research in the field of cultural studies calls for the extension of practices to empowerment. The educational practices of this nation progressed from religious practices that originated in Western Europe. I am interested in how these traditional practices and beliefs marginalized individuals based on gender. Christianity’s culturally perceived weakness, or perhaps even wickedness, of women has been articulated from an early time period and has been rearticulated during various historical events. I looked to encompass elements of those historical themes in the design of this collection as a means of empowerment, to pushback against the received view. As an artist, fashion designer, and female educator, I hope to bring art and fashion, femininity and the body, from the academic margins where they lie in order to challenge higher education’s privileging of the written word through the language of dress.
Installation #1: Body of text
installation #2: WOrds Matter
There are 7 commentaries elaborating on various parts of the installations available for this exhibition. In order to view these commentaries, click on the link provided below.
Installation of EXHIBITION
Exhibition Popup Event @ GMOA
This exhibition was made possible through partnerships with the Athens community. I would like to give a special thank you to each and every one for their support.