The Genuine Unauthorized Clothing Clone Institute
Each Genuine Unauthorized garment starts with a life size digital print of a selfie taken by the artist in a luxury store dressing room. These dressing room selfies are used to develop the foundation for each garment in the project. Instead of recreating the item in the photograph, these new garments instead prioritize the flat photographic image, resulting in dresses that are sandwich-board-like in their construction, relying on simple pleats and the tromp l’oeil effect of the printed photograph for contouring.
The project approaches legality through the lens of appropriation. Censorship pixelization in both the garments and website design “redact” the “original” to crate a parody. The censorship walks the line of originality within the eyes of the legal system while evoking desire for that which we cannot have.
Originally intended to foster creativity and innovation, IP and copyright laws instead primarily function as a tool to uphold and preserve dominant systems of value and capital preservation for the wealthy. The project argues that these systems create something akin to a modern sumptuary code (historical laws that regulated consumption in order to preserve class and social hierarchies). The Genuine Unauthorized Clothing Clone Institute seeks to illustrate the logic of these law practices within the fashion industry with an experiment in appropriation and education.
The project has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York and has been profiled in the New York Times.