Miss A Columnist

Nicole Coffineau is originally from Virginia. Her academic background is in Fine Arts, Art History, and New Media Theory. She earned her BA from Virginia Tech in 2008, and her MA from the University of Chicago in 2011. She is most interested in American and European contemporary art and photography. She currently lives in Chicago with her two cats. She teaches community college, makes prints and books, reads vehemently, and aspires to continue her graduate education as an art historian and media theorist.

Chicago’s Museum Of Contemporary Art’s Garment Work Exhibit

Garment Work, 2010. Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Germany. (Photo Credit: Anne Elizabeth Moore)

In an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, artist Anne Elizabeth Moore offers a time-based performance that asks us to contemplate the means and ends of the fashion industry. Her exhibition, Garment Work, will be showing August 6 – 28 as part of the MCA’s New Artists/New Works program and exhibition space, UBS: 12 x 12. Over the course of three weeks, Moore and visitors to the exhibition will take apart a pair of jeans by hand while the artist relates stories of the jeans’ origins. A narrative journey of the life of a pair of pants provokes insight into the local impact of textile trade in different areas of the world. In this case, Moore draws the path made by the featured jeans from where they were produced, in Cambodia, to where they were purchased, on Michigan Avenue.

The debut installation of this exhibition occurred in 2010 at the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, in Leipzig, Germany, formerly one of the largest and longest-running textile mills in the world. Here, she focused on the effects of changing international policies in textile trade and manufacture following the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

The production and exportation of clothing and the globalization of the fashion industry are issues that should not be ignored. As trade conditions evolve under the changing economy, it is important for well informed women to keep in mind the requisite infrastructure of the fashion industry and the local effects it has at home, and abroad. Moore’s exhibition asks us to think about the origins of the clothes we wear and allows us the insight to draw lines separating what is ethically and sustainably produced from what is not. Rather than bashing high fashion or adopting an extreme platform against the textile industry, Moore’s choice of ubiquitous blue jeans implicates us all in complex trade structure of fabric and garments. By giving accounts of the makers’ and the sellers’ stories, Moore unites women via the jeans, instead of creating dichotomies between the oppressor and the oppressed. This allows all viewers the opportunity to thoughtfully engage with the work without feeling alienated or accused. She will be giving an artist’s talk on August 9th at 6pm at the MCA to discuss the conception and production process of the exhibition.

August 6 – 28, 2011
Closed Monday
Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
Ph. 312-280-2660

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