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Cultivating Critique in Folds and Pleats - Posthuman Enactments in the Dress of Rick Owens

Hansson, Wiktor LU (2019) TKAM02 20191
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
Taking as its epistemological starting point the proposed geological era of the Anthropocene, this thesis enquires the affective potential of avant-garde fashion in criticising, improving or transforming the supposed givenness of The Human as a historical concept. In order to do so, it inflects and departs from the tightly held onto-epistemological cannon of fashion studies and anthropology of dress, in which fashion is understood primarily through representation, signification and performance of identity. While recognising earlier scholars’ exemplary contributions, this thesis asserts that perception, symbols and signs do not exhaust the relation between humans and clothes, and as fashion studies matures as a field, there is a need for... (More)
Taking as its epistemological starting point the proposed geological era of the Anthropocene, this thesis enquires the affective potential of avant-garde fashion in criticising, improving or transforming the supposed givenness of The Human as a historical concept. In order to do so, it inflects and departs from the tightly held onto-epistemological cannon of fashion studies and anthropology of dress, in which fashion is understood primarily through representation, signification and performance of identity. While recognising earlier scholars’ exemplary contributions, this thesis asserts that perception, symbols and signs do not exhaust the relation between humans and clothes, and as fashion studies matures as a field, there is a need for experimental work that does not affirm what is already accounted for. Consequently, it argues for the need for a comprehensive shift in which affect, intra-relationality and posthumanism are at the core of how to understand the human-clothing assemblage; in particular the latter’s agential role in hominisation. The outlining of such shift requires a migration from Cartesian theoretical territories supporting a continued stratification of anthropocentric, hegemonic heteronormativity, and the thesis, accordingly, approaches posthuman and non-representational thought as probative analytical and normative tools to unveil the intra- relational dependency of humans and non-humans, born and designed. The thesis holds as its philosophical starting point that fashion is material forms in human lives, but also the very form of human life. Still, whereas art and architecture have long been held in the belief to offer cathartic perspectives on human existence and able to make sense of horrors of past, the pettiness of present, and synthesise a future not yet formed, fashion’s ability to act critically has largely been ignored. Taking the agency of fashion in general seriously, and the transformative qualities of avant-garde fashion in particular, the thesis shows through ethnographic examples clothing’s potentia in outlining— refashioning — the contours of a more humane, if not more-than-human, future in the age of, and against, the Anthropocene. (Less)
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author
Hansson, Wiktor LU
supervisor
organization
course
TKAM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Posthuman, Fashion, Anthropocene, Intra-Relationality, Rick Owens, Avant-Garde, Deleuze, Queer, MACA
language
English
id
8989793
date added to LUP
2019-07-08 10:24:51
date last changed
2019-07-08 10:24:51
@misc{8989793,
  abstract     = {Taking as its epistemological starting point the proposed geological era of the Anthropocene, this thesis enquires the affective potential of avant-garde fashion in criticising, improving or transforming the supposed givenness of The Human as a historical concept. In order to do so, it inflects and departs from the tightly held onto-epistemological cannon of fashion studies and anthropology of dress, in which fashion is understood primarily through representation, signification and performance of identity. While recognising earlier scholars’ exemplary contributions, this thesis asserts that perception, symbols and signs do not exhaust the relation between humans and clothes, and as fashion studies matures as a field, there is a need for experimental work that does not affirm what is already accounted for. Consequently, it argues for the need for a comprehensive shift in which affect, intra-relationality and posthumanism are at the core of how to understand the human-clothing assemblage; in particular the latter’s agential role in hominisation. The outlining of such shift requires a migration from Cartesian theoretical territories supporting a continued stratification of anthropocentric, hegemonic heteronormativity, and the thesis, accordingly, approaches posthuman and non-representational thought as probative analytical and normative tools to unveil the intra- relational dependency of humans and non-humans, born and designed. The thesis holds as its philosophical starting point that fashion is material forms in human lives, but also the very form of human life. Still, whereas art and architecture have long been held in the belief to offer cathartic perspectives on human existence and able to make sense of horrors of past, the pettiness of present, and synthesise a future not yet formed, fashion’s ability to act critically has largely been ignored. Taking the agency of fashion in general seriously, and the transformative qualities of avant-garde fashion in particular, the thesis shows through ethnographic examples clothing’s potentia in outlining— refashioning — the contours of a more humane, if not more-than-human, future in the age of, and against, the Anthropocene.},
  author       = {Hansson, Wiktor},
  keyword      = {Posthuman,Fashion,Anthropocene,Intra-Relationality,Rick Owens,Avant-Garde,Deleuze,Queer,MACA},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Cultivating Critique in Folds and Pleats - Posthuman Enactments in the Dress of Rick Owens},
  year         = {2019},
}