The Space Between: Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment
Friday 3rd February 2017, Royal College of Art, London, UK
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Fataneh Farahani, Stockholm University, Sweden
The Space Between: Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment is an inter-disciplinary one-day symposium bringing together key thinkers from a range of disciplines to consider ideas around clothing, cloth and protection in contemporary society; in particular those associated with psyche, dress and the environment. Clothing and dress are often interpreted as forms of literal, metaphorical or psychic protection; from a suit of armour, to a hockey player’s padding, a heavy wool coat, to a businessperson’s suit.
The symposium seeks to ask what does clothing as protection mean in the context of contemporary society. As well as physical protection from environmental risk how does it protect one from the social mores or precepts of society? Why are some cultures and societal groups more concerned with this than others? Are contemporary forms of exposure and nakedness or nudity now also viewed as forms of pre-emptive protection? Do we now need more or less protection? And who (or what) do we need protecting from?
This symposium focuses on three key themes:
Protection: Between Dress and Shelter. This section explores the ways in which dress has been used as protection from the elements or the gaze of others. Taking a global perspective, it examines cultural differences in the definition of dress as protection.
Psyche: Between Perception and Display. This section explores the experiential or psychoanalytic implications of dress as protection versus dress as display.
Intersection: Between Body and Skin. Taking the garments we wear closest to the skin as its focal point, this section invites artists and academics who make or consider undergarments to share their perspective.