Fashion: the Fall of an Industry

Fashion: the Fall of an Industry

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Elisabeth Haarr, EEC – threatening us (EEC – truer oss), 1972. Tapestry, wool, nylon, 100cm x 100cm. © Elisabeth Haarr / BONO 2013. Photo: Jette Petersen.
October 4, 2013
Fashion: the Fall of an Industry

Thursdays, 17 October–12 December, 7pm
Wednesday 11 December, 7pm

Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
Nedre gate 7, 0551
Oslo, Norway

[email protected]

Fashion: the Fall of an Industry is a programme of lectures analysing the period of the 1970s in Norway, which saw a decline of employment in the textile industry. Through the interplay of garments, textile-production techniques and weaving processes, artists such as Brit Fuglevaag, Elisabeth Haarr and Sidsel Paaske found expression in a worldwide wave of labour militancy, developing techniques and practices fuelled by a strong sense of political entitlement.

Typically located in small communities in the western part of the country, Norwegian textile industry employment fell by 41 percent during the 1970s, creating a phenomenon of reabsorptive recruitment with the expansion of the welfare state as employer. While this passage created turmoil in other Scandinavian and Western countries, in Norway the role of the state became prominent, witnessing a passage of the majority of the employees from the industry into the welfare state.

Artists took different positions in their work, reacting to and reflecting upon the insurgent issues of industrialisation in its more unforeseen aspects: the need of care for both the environment and workers, the outsourcing of production and its social consequences.

When growth began to falter in the late 1960s, in the midst of a post-war crisis felt throughout the Western world, the endemic conflict between capitalist markets and democratic politics, which up until then had sustained the political-economic peace formula between capital and labour (with a combination of an expanding welfare state, the rights of workers to free collective bargaining, regular wage increases, governments commitment to full employment) led to turbulence which pre-empted and shaped a global crisis. The programme will provide a historical view upon how local policies shaped different reactions in different countries and upon the alignment of global patterns of concerns.

Lectures Programme:

Thursday, 17 October, 7pm
“In the Shadow of the Beat Generation. Norwegian Textile Art Crossing Borders 1960–1980″
Jorunn Haakestad

Thursday, 24 October, 7pm
“94 Years Later: Putting the Bauhaus into Perspective. On Art & Design, Identity & Gender”
Anja Baumhoff

Thursday, 31 October, 7pm
“Photography and Fashion in Mali”
Manthia Diawara

Thursday, 7 November, 7pm
“On Textile Structures”
Rike Frank

Thursday, 14 November, 7pm
“Feminism, Trockel Fashion”
Anne Wagner

Thursday, 21 November, 7pm
“On Beauty: Textile Aesthetics within a Feminist Perspective”
Elisabeth Haarr
Followed by a conversation with Jan Lauritz Opstad, Brit Fuglevaag and Benedicte Sunde

Thursday, 28 November, 7pm
“Radical Design as Resistance: Rei Kawakubo and Her Followers”
Yuko Hasegawa

Thursday, 5 December, 7pm
“Division of Labour: Textile as a Gendered Medium in Norwegian Art in the 1970s”
Jorunn Veiteberg

Wednesday, 11 December, 7pm
“Globalisation, Image Production and La Javanaise”
Wendelien Van Oldenborgh
Followed by a conversation with Mike Sperlinger

Thursday, 12 December, 7pm
“Costumes, Textiles, Music”
Linder Sterling
in conversation with Anne Hilde Neset
Followed by Rob Young, presenting an audio-illustrated lecture on the connections between textiles, costumes and philosophies of sound and performance

Fashion: the Fall of an Industry is organised by OCA in cooperation with the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO), Visual Arts Department (Kunstfag). The closing event of the programme is organised in collaboration with nyMusikk, Oslo.

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Office for Contemporary Art Norway
October 4, 2013

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