Friday, March 23, 2007


Burnlab on Boudicca: The Third and Final Report

What sets Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby apart from a majority of their peers I believe, is that they are serious artists working in a medium that is too often not taken seriously enough, nor does it take itself seriously enough. It is not the fault of the medium, but one of perception. I can only imagine the cringes on their faces to the comment, "it's just clothes." How many times I've cringed myself to, "it's just [blank]," or "you're not making art here." If you're not at least trying to make some art in everything you do, you are wasting everyone's time.

There is the flip side of course - one I consciously exploit in my own work often. There is an advantage for any artist to engage in a medium considered to be "lower" than the classical disciplines, in effect recontextualizing both the work and the medium. Bowie was the absolute master of this. Our own Jon Ozias and Don Downie challenged the conventions of theatre and club culture in 1998 by producing Heiner Muller's avant-garde masterwork Hamletmaschine in a night club. Diller+Scofidio constantly make us question what is art and what is architecture. Whether Boudicca has consciously engaged the fashion world as a way for their artistic visions to be noticed, or if they are truly that much more serious than their peers, the result is good for them and good for the fashion world alike.

Boudicca's spring 2007 collection, enter_An Artificial Paradise is their most sophisticated effort yet in concept (though I think spring '06 was better in execution.) The pair have created an independent website for the collection, which I believe to be in part inspired by the work of Peter Greenaway. Their inspiration is broken down into three books: The Book of Elegance, The Book of Science, and The Book of Violence.

The collection itself attempts to address living within synthetic realities and information overload in the 21st century. I will leave the rest to Kirkby and Broach's own words.

Also see Boudicca Couture and Castle Accoutrements.

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