Tent Dress, I mean, Dress Tent


dress tent Robin Lasser

Barb sent me this interesting work by Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao … it's a series of photographs of dresses that are also tents.

This is the "Ms. Homeland Security: Illegal Entry Dress Tent," about which the artists say:

… the Illegal Entry Dress Tent, originally installed beneath the California/Mexico border, contains military blankets embroidered with the names of those who have lost their lives crossing the border. Those who seek refuge beneath the skirt are implicated with their own relationship to border issues. In this way, the dress tents address body and land politics as they interface with the nomadic nature of contemporary life.

I don't know why artists' statements don't just say "I thought this would be [cool|beautiful|moving], and look! I was right." This one could have said all three …

0 thoughts on “Tent Dress, I mean, Dress Tent

  1. >>>I don’t know why artists’ statements don’t just say “I thought this would be [cool|beautiful|moving], and look! I was right.” This one could have said all three …So right. I wonder if Monet or Michael Angelo ever sat around explaining their work?

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  2. I can’t tell you how much I love and laughed at the art tent dresses! Thanks.The photography is equally stunning…I wonder why you balk at the artist giving a statement?I love knowing what the thought process is behind the work.~Becky

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  3. I recently read a book that collected what artists felt was their first real, definitive work. It also gave them the chance to talk about what it meant to them/make a statement. I feel like most of the statements were “blah blah I’m so pretentious blah”. Their statements often took me from liking or at least mild indifference to actively disliking their work.

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  4. Sheesh! If you don’t like the statements, don’t read them! It’s that simple. Look at the pretty pictures and leave the words for those of us who are interested. Good grief!

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  5. I think the problem with artist statements is that they’re trying to put into words something that’s… beyond words.It tends to diminish the work, for me. (I don’t know why some of the above posters are getting quite so riled up over this. Come on, guys. “the dress tents address body and land politics as they interface with the nomadic nature of contemporary life.”– that’s funny stuff.

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  6. I don’t like when people over-intellectualize what they do. Somebody who can create great visual art may just not be as talented verbally and it can take away from the art. I used to be a pastry chef and had an audition at a 4-star restaurant in Chicago and the chef was one of those people who had to make his food into some big intellectual exercise. For god sakes, Charlie, it’s just food. It’s designed to be eaten! Doing great food, or great art should be enough.

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  7. In the wonderful book by Kathleen Meyer which everyone should have, “How to Shit in the Woods” (put out by Ten Speed Press in 1989), she describes how her adventurous friend used voluminous skirts as her own personal outhouse. This photo reminded me of that passage in the book.

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  8. What kind of punctuation is[cool|beautiful|moving]I like that in itself! (it’s shorter than a haiku, but good enough for me today – maybe I’ll put it on a bumper sticker, where it will take on a whole new meaning)

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  9. I always thought art was supposed to speak for itself (“If a picture paints a thousand words…”) – if you have to describe it, doesn’t it losing some of its meaning?As for the dress, um, tent – what a novel idea.

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  10. I balk at artist’s statements because they have a tendency to be psuedo-intellectual b.s. that takes away from the power of the work itself.Grant committees and art groups want to know they are supporting worthy art and demand that kind of justification. If they can’t figure out if the art is worthy/challenging/good without those statements they should get out of the money-handing-over business.

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  11. I made 16 costumes for a contempory dance “Art” piece. 16 3/4 length elastic waisted trousers and 16 short sleeved t shirts all in various shades of beige. The designer requested that there was printed text screen printed all over them in a colour that matched the fabric. ” Not that you can see it but just so I know that it is there”Art or pretention…. you decide.

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  12. Anonymous: regarding punctuation of [cool|beautiful|moving] -It looks like syntax to me. The pipes (|) mean “or”. The [] usually mean “optional”, but I bet if Erin thought about it, she would change them to {}, which means you have to choose one of the following words.This is all programming talk, but I imagine notation in linguistics is similar. It’s just logic.

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  13. juliar, I have “How To Shit in the Woods.” I’ve found that a long, poufy, nylon, neon orange rain poncho works really well, too. Especially on rainy days! I’ve met other women who use ponchos and skirts, too … I could see a dress tent designed as an outhouse. Could be really fun!

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  14. thanx for sharing this one. I sent it along to my friend who works with misplaced people…I think that she will appreciate it.

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  15. Cathy’s got it … it was ersatz programming. Me not using curly brackets tells you how good a programmer I’m not. šŸ™‚

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  16. I’m so disappointed in the treatment this has gotten. Given a link to a great blog (with an artists statement, by the way) and a link to a really interesting installation project all people can be bothered to comment on is that they can’t be bothered to stop and consider an artist’s intentions. And I assure you, Monet and Michelangelo talked and wrote about their respective works ad nauseum.

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  17. Agree with Robinson and surprised at Erin. I’m not an art insider, but thought that the statement was perfectly readable and added understanding to what is going on in the picture.

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  18. Thanks for the programming lesson – Interesting!And as soon as we get distracted from the dresses – here comes the art brawl!

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  19. as an artist, i can tell you that writing the “artist’s statement” is sometimes the most painful part of the whole experience… this is device of Artist Representatives or Art Schools or Foundations That Give Grants. believe me, most artists would rather just say, “I want to paint things that interest me, and I want people to buy them at a fair price.” it’s like those stupid self-evaluations some firms make employees do. you know it’s all nonsense — but if you want to be in the game, you have to do the monkey dance.

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  20. I am so happy you all are having a dialogue about our work, and our “statement.” Believe me, the statement functions as a way to harness and/or expound upon our conceptual ideas and also provides one way for us and others to ponder the work. By no means is it the joy or the fun in the work…and we have tons of it. The amazing part of this process is the initial inspiration, making the dress tents, and then photographing in these amazing landscapes!

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  21. It’s because our professors made us come up with some crap to explain our work, or else we would get an F, and we haven’t kicked that habit yet.

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  22. Artists are no longer allowed to just “let the work speak for itself”. Writing artist statements is just part of the job… when you have an exhibition, they ask you for an artist’s statement. If you don’t write one, someone else will write about your work for you, and that is the pits, because they often project their own stuff onto it. I always look at the work first, then read the statement after I have gotten what I’m going to get from the work. Great post, smart work!

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  23. Enjoyed your post, and was also pleased to see that Adrienne recognizes not only the importance of a statement, but also seems to keep it in its proper place in relation to the actual work.The ongoing discussion here gave me the impetus to post a short article on a performance art piece that I created and performed years ago. Critics of the “artist statement” may find it humorous and enjoyable. Thought y’all might be interested…Mind Reading as Social Commentaryfrom Noumenon::Art, Ideas, Culture and Capricious OpinionYou might enjoy the irony.Thanks for the article and discussion!-Roderick

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