creative concept behind mind/matter

By: Leigh Walderman


At DONT WALK, we have always celebrated the complexity of ambiguity in all forms of artistry, and as such, we strive to underscore the impact, or shock value, that can be achieved by juxtaposing one visual experience against the other. This thematic focus on surrealism informs the controversial and unorthodox nature of DONT WALK.   

Surrealism is the liberation of the unconscious, an undiscriminating fantasy that defines the norms of rationalism and releases the mind from the restrictions of convention. Rooted in paradox, the surrealist image is shocking, perverse, and ultimately profound in the way it undermines expectations and poses psychological questions about the nature of reality and human existence. Ironically humorous, yet also deeply disconcerting, surrealist art gives voice to messages that challenge, subvert, and inspire.

Mind/Matter is infused with this spirit of surrealism. Buried in the show’s seemingly nonsensical images are opportunities to see the world, and our place in it, in a radically different way. Our refusal to follow convention is already on proud display in the name of the show – DONT WALK, a coy command challenging our understanding of the role models play in a fashion show. In Mind/Matter, the models DONT just WALK. Using the eye of an artist or poet, and not that of a scientist, they explore the realm of the unconscious without recourse to the logic of material, everyday reality. As an embellished canvas designed to unsettle and provoke, Mind/Matter will showcase a surreal montage of objects and bodies inexplicably fused and paradoxically arranged. In this intersection of art, fashion, and unconscious desire, the mind must rise above the matter in the process of interpretation.


Ceci N’est Pas Moi

The model introduction shoot is originally inspired by Rene Magritte’s The Treachery of Images (1928). The picture shows a pipe, with “ceci n’est pas une pipe” written below it. The statement is interpreted to mean that the painting itself is not a pipe - merely an image of a pipe. It embraces a similar irony to the name of our show, DONT WALK. Subsequently, the shoot was titled ‘Ceci N’est Pas Moi’ - dedicating itself to one of the wittiest and most thought-provoking artists in the traditional landscape of surrealism.

At first glance a spectator may believe the model(s) are simply holding a painting. But with further observation of the images the spectator may take notice of the fact that the models are simply holding a mirror, and the object in the mirrors reflection varies per model. It is in part inspired by the illusionistic qualities of Magritte’s artwork; it also draws inspiration from Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymades”. Duchamp gives himself wholly to randomness of chance, creating unexpected works of art that could not have been made according to rules, but only organically. His “readymades” - found objects, are presented art art, rupturing the link between art and the artist’s controlled decision making. The randomness of his “readymades” questions the very notion of art and the adoration of art itself.

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