Rami Shalati

behold yourself - realisation II

As part of the on-going research project ”behold yourself” the concept study of realisation ii tries to confront the unconscious social structures and reveal its formation. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak describes the term “unlearning” as the necessity to sense these internalized learning processes that have taught us in our neutral cape of childhood how to distinguish in society. A precondition for active exclusion and discrimination.

The project involves six objects that can all function individually, and it is in one’s choice and decision how and with what intention an item can be brought onto the body. These collective performances between participants and objects create new possibilities for the concept of “fashion” and achieve to attain a visual engagement, method and purpose of “unlearning”. An expanded reflexive and aesthetical design practice.

“Unlearning” demands to go back in one’s own history, look back into one’s once-being, while simultaneously looking forward with a critical and conscious vision.

The complexity of (re-) learning processes and their impact on society structures only became truly clear to me during the research: Throughout life we learn to decide what is important and what is unimportant, how things belong in order, what belongs together and what does not. While these differentiations seem necessary, they unconsciously manifest learnt knowledge that differentiates and marginalizes, as embodied in society. Thus making learning a discursive and performative practice.

In context to fashion, we seem to believe we know how to handle clothing, yet we almost compulsively try to categorize clothes and wearers.

But what would happen if we would try to deconstruct these categories and invent new methods, that allow us to break the chains of oppressive white patriarchy, to demonstrate intersections and collectively learn – to unlearn?

realisation ii is an attempt of becoming-with.

A visualization and construction process that splits away from conventional clothing codes, material choices and work techniques to actually formulate a deconstructed, free and sustainable design practice.

With accompaniment and deep support from my father Mohamed Shalati who performed with me to the Album Holy Palm by Flora Yin Wong at modernlove.