Vital Vogue: A Biological Perspective on Fashion

07 (1)
26 (1)
17 (1)

March 16, 2018 - April 8, 2018

Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries

In 1940, the psychoanalyst, political theorist, biologist, and pioneer of body therapies Wilhelm Reich taught at The New School for Social Research. His course “Character Formation: Biological and Sociological Aspects” introduced students to the outlines of Reich’s theories of psychosomatic dynamics, and how the psyche is caught between the bioelectrical energies of the body and social currents, between freedom and fear, sexuality and fascism. This project asks the question, “How could Reich’s ideas be interpreted by a student of fashion, and put to use in the realm of dress?”

Reich’s focus on embodiment and cognition, material agency and the vibrancy of energy and matter, the ecologies of vital affect and the social desires of fascism, have come to echo throughout our times. His ideas can also bring new light to the vital dynamics of fashion.

This exhibition makes you a co-researcher in our lab, interpreting how Reich’s ideas could be applied within the realm of fashion. The lab environment presents you with a series of provotypes for biosocial research, provoking you to examine fashion as a living energy. Our task is to shift perspectives on fashion and see it as an energy sparkling with life, a form of biosocial flourishing, or more precisely: a vital vogue.

Curated by Otto von Busch.

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