Fashioning A Contemporary Life

"Constellations" - Lina Iris Viktor

“How are you fashioning your life?”

That’s a question I found myself pondering quite frequently over the past few months and more deeply as “Africa Forecast: Fashioning Contemporary Life”, the most recent exhibit at the Spelman College of Fine Art, was winding down. Fashion—both the noun and the verb—were specific points of interest throughout the exhibition, and during my conversations with museum staff and participating artists I began a process of serious self-reflection about what both of those versions of the word meant to my life.

I had the pleasure of producing a series of podcast conversations with several artists included in the 20-person group exhibition, including Vanessa German, Fabiola Jean-Louis, Ayana V. Jackson, Mimi Plange, Firelei Baez and Lina Iris Viktor—each of which left a lasting impression on what it means to “fashion” or form the life you want for yourself. To that end, I’ve begun to implement the phrase, “If you want different outcomes, you have to make different decisions,” into my daily routine to help me address the areas of my life I’d like to change or affect differently.

Now, as it relates to my clothing choices, I’m also more in tune with fashion as a language of outward expression and how what we adorn our bodies with acts as a form of communication. I don’t know if I’ll be making any dramatic fashion shifts in the near future, but there’s always room for change.

Talking to the aforementioned artists in conjunction with this exhibition was an absolute pleasure, and a great example of contemporary art space presenting compelling art/artists whose work is relevant on multiple layers. Please be sure to visit the Spelman Museum of Fine are when you get a chance, and in the meantime feel free to listen to my podcast conversations in conjunction with the exhibition.