Become Fixated The word ‘fixate’
describes an obsessive focus, attachment and fastening to a person or
image. A NMMU fashion exhibition opening at the upper gallery of Epsac
Community Art
on 2 December and running from 3 to 15 December 2010,
promises to shatter an initial view of fashion as superficial and on
the surface. “The notion of humanness demands or expects something
more.” suggests exhibition curator Maran Coates, “Fashion often
attempts to be beyond real. The mixture of fashion in fabric form, in
photography and film in this exhibition allows the viewer to return to
human sensibility or real human encounter.”

The exhibition developed by NMMU
postgraduate students Maran Coates, Simon Kuhn and Gerhardt Coetzee in
conversation with Applied Design lecturer Margot Muir highlights a
tenderness within fashion, the subtlety of the sensory and sublime
thought which contrasts with the dominant view of fashion as frivolous.

“Jean Claude suggests we become fixated on things that are impermanent;
the tenderness that we have for the temporary, for life, for immediacy.
For example, we become fixated on youthfulness and part of its power is
that it is fleeting” comments graphic designer Simon Kuhn.

The title of the exhibition “Fixated”, drawn from an image of
photographer Gerhardt Coetzee, forms the first level of seeing; a
detail which is arresting, how parts integrate in composition, the
relationship between fashion and lived experience.

The exhibition space includes the work of emerging NMMU
photography student Estiaan Labuschagne, interpreting the work of
fashion designer Lauren Gravett, who explores the notions of the quirky
citizens of our global village.  Photographer Natalie Field, an
NMMU alumni, captures the work of designer, Maran Coates, who
highlights the contrasts of restriction and freedom in her range.

The photograph of third year Laurette Biggs shows the work of fashion
designer Jessica Nel, whose interest in focusing softly on the subtle
powers of colour psychology are portrayed. Photography alumni Sasha
Hatherley interprets the work of fashion design alumni Kerys Bagg and
Caryn Fourie in a sensitive yet futuristic image. Alumni Gerhardt
Coetzee presents the theatre of fashion and spaces. Btech student
Samantha Davis showing the work of fashion designer Nocebo Nohaji who’s
textural detail is sensually captivating. Btech photographer Shanna
Paxton’s images explore perceptions of beauty. A documentary of a
fashion shoot by NMMU
masters student Chris Kritzinger “I flicker, I decline’ is an absorbing
view of fashion being created on film.

The exhibition opening will take place at 6pm on Thursday 2 December.
The exhibition will run from 3-15 December at Epsac
second floor gallery. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm
and Saturday 10am – 1pm (closed Sunday and Monday)

Written by Margot

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