Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Journal Entries: Post Dress That Makes the Woman

November 6, 2011
Today is the last day.
Even though I am not wearing the dress, today is the last day.  I feel naked and under dressed wearing this t-shirt recently acquired from my friend Cathy, a pair of jeans, my vibram 5 finger shoes, and what?  what/ my feet feel good, but my chest and my legs feel naked. 
I am in the airport waiting to go back to Burlington.  The woman across from me...her mother is dying.  May she be free from suffering and the root of suffering.  The worry on her face is palpable.  May she experience grace and the root of grace.  I can feel her sadness in my own chest.  We all will experience this.  We all have.  The loss of a parent, a friend, a foe, the birth of emancipation, the mark of getting closer to spiritual freedom... it is sad as hell, but... it is sad as hell.
I keep thinking about this project. 
Did the dress break up with me?  When does an artist recognize when a pieces is over and done, what about if it is premature?
I suppose I could have fixed the zipper, but everything just felt done.  What now?  I feel loss.  Lighter. Missing something.  Naked is not the right word to describe this feeling.  Incomplete is not the right word either, that implies a feeling of being unfinished.  No this feels finished.  My goals accomplished. 
Holy Shit!  I did it!  One Year! Awesome! Huzzah, Hurrah, Yippee!  I feel proud of myself, accomplished, complete, but wait... yes, that is what this feeling is.  A completeness I have never felt before... hmmm something to contemplate.
My goal was to wear a dress for a month and work on it and explore how a garment... no, how my relationship with a dress has the power to transform... the idea was that the dress would ultimately make the woman and even though I was the one in control, ie, the woman who made the dress, I feel transformed, changed, altered... forgive the pun... ha ha. 
So now what? Sleep.  Rest. Jeans.  No more oh my god I have to work on this dress feeling.  No more creation anxiety... at least for a little while.  Relax.  Play with my son.  Work on other projects.  Give more of my attention to my other work.  Teaching.  Art consulting.  Curtains Conservation.  Public Art School.  Focus energies on building something lasing in my Burlington Arts Community.  I have some new ideas that now, I have no doubt that I will be able to see them through.  
The Thank Yous----
Special thanks to donors of this project, be it material, lace, clothing, emotional and financial.  
Thank you to my family, especially Clark and Asa, Y'all are my champions and I will never forget when Asa told me how beautiful my dress was.. what a memory for him to have, a year of mama in dresses.  Thanks to my own parents.  Thanks to my in laws.  Thank you Chris Teague for your wonderful comments and inspiring stories.  Thank you to Maggie, Beth, Lisa and Elisa for you donations to keep the blog rolling!  Thank you Vermont Arts Council for my Creation Grant to help fund this new round of projects.  Thank you to Strange Dolls, SEABA, Davis Studios, and Sarah Millis  for promoting my project on your social networking sites. 
Thank you to Christy Mitchell for being born...because if I wasn't in need of a birthday present for you on November 7, 2010, The Dress That Makes The Woman Project may have remained just and idea and not a realization.  Thanks to Het Haudenshield and Matt Chase for taking my sad pathetic phone calls and helping me to press on when I wanted to give up... I love you both soooo much!
Thanks to my Aunt Mary, who came through with the perfect final dress as well as financing the trip to the perfect final event for that dress and this project.  It was your night to shine and the dress knew it... and it could not have worked out any better, what a spectacular ending. 
Thanks to my mom for giving me clothes to wear post- dress that makes the woman.  If it wasn't for the black wool savior dress, I would have had to either go naked to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston or just pouted in my room. 
Thanks to my cousin Lisa for all the wonderful interviews.  You questions and kind ear encouraged and helped me shape and define some of my lofty aspirations for this project. 
Thank you to my dad for the fancy camera which resulted in better pictures.
Thank you to my brother for helping to zip me in the final dress and for capturing the final moments on his iphone of it's memorable malfunction. 
Thanks to Rick Levinson of RL photo for offering to document and photograph my girls in their final glory...
... and thank you to all of those friends and family for finally getting why I had to do this project.
 November  8, 2011
Again a feeling of nakedness creeps in.  What am I wearing?
November 14, 2011
I feel like I am cheating.  Like when I wake up, I owe the public something more spectacular than just my black jeans, black top and brown scarf.  Hmmmm looks like a day for red lips. 
November 15, 2011
Forgetfulness... feeling weird energy, like I should be doing something with my hands... but what?

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

Wow, so many emotions surfacing... I am writing them down in a journal, soon to be entered on the blog. I am currently pulling together images and more written journal entries to begin the editing process.... Soon the blog will be re formatted to read easier and all of the images will be posted. Stay tuned... Keep checking back, in a day or so there will be new pics.

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 4, 2011, Wylie

So here I am. 

Luckily I borrowed a black wool classic Banana Republic dress from my mom.  I had a needle and thread with me so I fixed the tights, and the rest is history.

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Sent from my iPhone

Camera, Zipper, Tights: the whole catastrophe

...allow me to explain...

It starts with the anticipation of this weekend.  This weekend, the final weekend, the end of my year wearing a dress everyday, working or attempting to work everyday on this dress, these dresses... Oi-vey!  Everything was being planned according to how I though I wanted this project to neatly end, like a pretty little package.  I was prepping for a first Friday art opening at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery for their Make Art Repeat Show where the project originated a year ago.  The only decision that needed to be made was how is this project going to be displayed? As photographs? On models? On a clothing rack? On dress forms?  Well photos were not enough. This project was about these dresses on me, and their relationship to me, my body, my personality, my space, my art, my daily life, so models we out.  A clothing rack meant that people might take the garments off, touching them, moving them, which is no good... So dress forms it is.  

I had been watching a lot of Joseph Campbell lectures and was really inspired by the power and the symbol of the circle. Round. Continuous. A record of eternal passage, and yet directional in some cultures with a clear North, South, East, West.  So the gals, ie. The dresses on the dress forms, all 11 of them, were assembled in a circle in the gallery, all facing inwards, all looking at each other.  What are they thinking? Are they checking each other out? Are they proud? Happy? Sad?  I don't have an answer... I know, I know, I installed them, so what was I thinking?  I was thinking about the power of a year. The recorded history of one year in my life. Powerful. Humbling. Awkward. And lovely.... At least this is what I am feeling at this time... And then wham, an opportunity arrises..... Go to Houston,TX for the opening of my aunt and uncles's collection of Czech art.... This is a collection that is not only historic, but also one with which I have a huge connection to, they were building it as I was going to college at the University of Chicago.  I got to know it intimately as it was being defined, I photographed her bohemian glass pieces before there was ever a catalogue, I  helped move the collection from Chicago to Houston...because of this collection I was introduced To many wonderful people, artists, collectors, critics, curators... How could I pass this opportunity to see it in it's glory at the museum of fine arts, Houston?  But what about the dress project?

Here was my chance to wear my final dress, on one of the last days, to a social event in Houston with my family, and be me, wearing one of my own creations, what an fantastic end to such transformative and important project in my career as an artist.  

So I go to Houston and when I get there i pull out my camera to photograph the progress of the dress and the camera battery is dead.  Did I remember to pack the charger? No. Oops!  So I ask my brother to help me document things with his iPhone.  The night of the opening I am getting ready, hair done, nails done, make up done, new fancy tights with a sexy pattern, and my awesome heels, and the dress goes on and everything is looking good and then... Zipper... Zipper... Zipper.....come on now zipper... I know you will go up... Please, please go up.... Go.... FUCK!!!... Deep breath.... Sigh.... Commence the hearty chortle... The zipper is broken. The project is done, but not without snagging my awesome new tights and ripping a hole in them too...

My thoughts, were first to ask, why? Why tonight of all nights? Why did you have to take out the tights too?  But then I let go.... Because, dear dress, you are telling me that our relationship is over.  That you have had enough, and that tonight for the first time in a year, I have to go solo and just go as me.   

Begin forwarded message:

Sent from my iPhone

November 4, 2011

How does a project tell you it is done? That it has had enough of you, just when you thought you had enough of it? How does the universe laugh at you, remind you that there are no perfect endings and that not having a perfect ending is ok? How can we stay in the present and roll with the punches, learning to let go as we try in vain to preserve composure? I know how I do it. With an explicative, a deep breath, a sigh of relief, and a hearty chortle.

Allow me to explain...

Wylie Sofia Garcia