(FASHION WORKSHOP OF THE PRESENT - SYSTEM.ECOLOGY.PLAY), 2021/2022
S.O.S. – at first a simple signal sequence, only later on imbued with meaning – which helped without it nonetheless! Is this a call for more unconditional mutual support or is it representative of our continued search for meaning?
The complexity of our current global questions requires a look behind the siren call: do “all of us” need to act, or “me, individually”? Ecological sustainability begins with the social climate. Taking a closer look at ourselves, we recognise our multilayered personalities, learned patterns of thought and behaviour. We embark on a search for a self which does not only seek to set itself apart as a fictional subject, but searches for commonalities and is able to endure contradictions.
The school serves as an experimental, playful space where we can collectively devise models for the systems we want to live in. Hierarchy and de-centrality, individuality and freedom, as well as complex social interdependencies, economic growth and agricultural hardships, raw materials or food… – fashion illustrates the contradictions and parallel realities in all their intensity.
Throughout the Schools of Sustainability, fashion is our medium and tool to navigate daily thoughts and actions. As immediate cover, as means of expression, as global system and social practice, we analyse questions at the individual, interpersonal, collective, political and ecological level. In our lived reality advertising messages mix with idealist narratives and identity politics – what is authentic, what is appropriation?
Engaging in critical reflection of our material and media consumption, we investigate their relating extraction and production processes, in and with the environment, through the material itself. Immersed in situated, practice-oriented action and thought, we dissolve artificial boundaries between theory and practice, producers and consumers, craft and machines, slowness and productivity.
The Fashion Workshop of the Present serves as a point of departure: creative practice formats are the basis for reflexive discourse and collective learning with and from each other – as we navigate intuition and complexity, system, ecology and play.
Throughout the school year 2021/2022 artist and curator Johanna Schwab and fashion researcher Aïcha Abbadi facilitate the Fashion Workshop of the Present [Gegenwarts-Werkstatt Mode] with co-learners of Wedding-Schule in Berlin, within the S.O.S – Schools of Sustainability initiated by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW).
Supported by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media and the Federal Foreign Office.