Time for Instagram takeovers by designers who are part of Taskforce Fashion 2019. A collaboration between State of Fashion, M-ODE (Amsterdam) and FASHIONCLASH (Maastricht). Get a look behind the scenes in their process towards the end result and the daily life of a designer. We offer you some inspiration and to show you how sustainability is implemented in design and fashion.
Taskforce Fashion focuses on fashion designers and explores which role fashion can play in working on or creating awareness of social issues through various activities. The first joint event is Fashion After Flood, in which 15 fashion designers are challenged, through workshops and field trips, to reflect on a current urgent topic: the rising (sea) water level.
Rosanne van Wijk will take over our Instagram the next coming days until 14th of July.
Van Wijk graduated with honours from the BA Fashion Design of the Academy of Fine Art & Design in Arnhem (ArtEZ) in the Netherlands in 2016. After graduating she felt the need for change of the fashion system. Looking to find a different approach to fashion, she applied for a residency at the Jan van Eyck Academy where she finished her residency in 2018. She is fascinated by visible and non-visible systems and constructions we face everyday in society; systems we constantly adapt to. Van Wijk investigates these themes by creating textile uniforms and objects that are activated during performances. In her performances she investigates (human) behaviour and decision-making.
Can you tell us more about your participation in Taskforce? What are your first ideas for Taskforce?
When Branko Popović (FASHIONCLASH) asked me to participate in Taskforce, I immediately became enthusiastic. In the long-term research project "SWEET - SWEAT" in which I collaborate with artists' duo De Onkruidenier (Ronald Boer and Jonmar van Vlijmen), we have been investigating themes such as sea level rise, salinization of the land and our food system through performance installations. To approach sea level rise from the perspective of fashion with other designers seemed very interesting to me. Under the guidance of Tjeerd Veenhoven, my group will investigate the theme 'Fashion after Flood' in the city of Arnhem. I am looking forward to the field research in Arnhem for which we compose a program ourselves, but also to get to know everyone's practice and how we will bring our different visions together in an inspiring plan.
What personally interests me is the connection between life above and underwater. How we live on the land has influence under water and vice versa. We now mainly keep the sea outside with dikes. However, if half of the Netherlands were to be flooded in the future, it will be useful to know more about the relationship between the two and about the plants and animals that live underwater. In addition, I now read Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino, in which a passage tells about the uncle of the main character who lives in the sea like a fish. This uncle advocates for an underwater life that offers a certain future in comparison with the uncertainties on land. "There the changes would be minimal, the space and the food sources unlimited, the temperature would always find a certain balance, in short, life would survive if it had developed to date, in its complete, perfect forms, [...] and everyone could deepen their own nature, reach the essence of themselves and all things”. It is an imaginative and abstract idea, but it does encourage me to think again about our ‘certainties’.
How does sustainability play a role in your work?
Questions that I had after my graduation about what sustainability (in fashion) means, ultimately shaped my practice. I realized that sustainability includes an entire system. But where does a recent graduate position herself if she disagrees with how the system works? I could not answer these big questions and I realized that I needed more time and knowledge. For that reason, I went to the Jan van Eyck in Maastricht, a multidisciplinary residency and place for reflection. I started making performance installations and learned more about the way we make choices and how other disciplines deal with these issues. My work now consists of artistic research in which I collect from a critical and inquisitive position different choices and perspectives in order to get a better understanding of the fashion system and other systems that are entangled. It would be nice if I could offer a substantiated alternative with all the knowledge I gathered in the future.
What does your ideal future look like?
My ideal vision of the future includes a world in balance in which we can find acceptance. Although we cannot understand everything, it is possible to adapt to our environment with the knowledge and technology we have and we can be confident that this works. Whether we are going to live at sea as a result of rising sea levels in technological domes on stilts, we will be moving to higher parts of the world, or maybe we are going to live in the sea and have evolved into a new type of human. I don't see any limitations, as long as we think in a holistic way rather than from individual interest or commercial benefits.