SCAD Museum of Art presents "Fade Into Black," a solo exhibition by Mexico City-based artist Pia Camil. The artist creates projects that negotiate between formal, historical and critical modes of operation. Formally, Camil’s works are often colorful objects, voluptuous fabrics, photographs or performances deeply related to items of domesticity, studies of the body, and have strong references to the legacy of conceptual art and modernism. Her works are critical of the exponential and irregular growth of Latin America’s capitals, and reference informal economies and the dynamics of merchandise distribution systems.
For the exhibition "Fade Into Black," Camil will present the latest and largest iteration of her ongoing interest in T-shirts as repositories of cultural information. Specially commissioned by SCAD, one colossal fabric mass made of hundreds of repurposed T-shirts hangs from the ceiling as a single soft sculptural work. As an object that might resemble a curtain or a theatrical backdrop, the piece features a gradient leading the visitor from black to white or vice versa.
These T-shirts display numerous logotypes and messages and have been subjected to a transnational drift. Produced in countries like El Salvador, Honduras or remote locations in South East Asia, these garments travel north to be printed and distributed by corporations and brands. Sometimes sold, or given as event souvenirs, these shirts are discarded and then travel south, in bulks, where they are sold at street markets in many cities. This transit evinces an economical journey which is not exclusive to fabrics, and ends up in the dichotomy of people wearing logotypes and slogans dislocated from their immediate reality — advocating for causes which are not only foreign but completely unknown. Changing the direction of this geographical transition is a de-colonial impulse, as Camil reverts the destiny of these garments. Through a laborious fabrication process in collaboration with a local team of artisans, the T-shirts lose their status as secondhand objects and migrate to a different one: that of art.
The newly transformed T-shirt sculpture can be activated by being worn by a group of people or simply by interacting with the piece on display, unifying participants in a physical connection or experience, and also submerges them in a different kind of ritual, one that is charged with a new set of geopolitical implications.
"Fade Into Black" is curated by Humberto Moro, SCAD curator of exhibitions.
The exhibition is free for all museum members, and SCAD students, faculty and staff with a valid SCAD Card. Open to the public with the cost of museum admission.
This exhibition is part of SCAD deFINE ART 2018, held Feb. 20-23 at university locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, and Hong Kong. SCAD deFINE ART is an annual program of exhibitions, lectures, performances and public events that highlights emerging and established artists and visionaries.