press release

The College Art Gallery at The College of New Jersey proudly presents Dress Code, a group exhibition of works by three international emerging artists that emphasizes the social and emotional impact of clothing. The exhibit is curated by Liselot van der Heijden, assistant professor of art at TCNJ.

Elke Lehmann Re-Bagged: First Collection For Re-Bagged: First Collection German artist Elke Lehmann shopped at mega-brand stores including H&M, Puma and GAP to select materials for her clothing/packaging hybrids. Lehmann then employed various strategies to insert each shopping bag (sometimes even including the receipt and change) into the garment it contained, creating pouches, sleeves, skirts, hoods and adjustable design elements.

Dissolving the boundaries between container and contained, Re-Bagged: First Collection collapses the effectiveness of seductive marketing displays. Lehmann's collection amplifies our consumer culture's emphasis on packaging, brand names and logos and ultimately issues of waste and recycling.

Jillian Mcdonald Seams Seams by Canadian artist Jillian Macdonald is part of her ongoing series of performance interventions in public spaces that attempt to wrest everyday activities from their usual associations. In a downtown Manhattan storefront, for a period of 4 weeks, one year after 9/11/2001, Macdonald invited passersby to lend an article of clothing of personal significance, for the length of the exhibition. When participants agreed she asked them to speak with her about their personal fears and anxieties. Fears and anxieties are based on our personal and collective experiences. The act of listening allowed her to translate each individual's fear into a personal protection message, to counter the fear. Participant and artist entered into a contractual agreement that the garment would not be harmed or altered in form, and that it would be retrieved at the end of the set period. During the interim, MacDonald was present in the storefront, hand-embroidering into the seams and inverted places of these clothing items the individual messages for each owner. Seams was commissioned by The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Momoyo Torimitsu Miyata Jiro In the Miyata Jiro project Japanese artist Momoyo Torimitsu uses the stereotypical image of Japanese businessmen: "I made a life-size crawling robot as a corporate soldier to let him crawl on the streets of big cities in the world. It provoked a variety of different responses showing how people react to the stereotype and revealing their own cultural preconceptions."

The Miyata Jiro performances triggered a variety of different reactions on the streets in New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro, ranging from smiles and amusement to anger, to concern from people who took him for a real person.

In addition to the videos documenting Torimitsu's performances and the public's reactions, there will be documentation of mainstream media reactions to the project specifically made for the exhibition at TCNJ.

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Elke Lehmann, Jillian Mcdonald, Momoyo Torimitsu