In times of impending collapse–be it of empires in the late 20th or ecology in the early 21st centuries –textiles, fabrics and fashion help us to find new ways of being, via reconfigured understandings of identity, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality amongst others. In Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia of the 1980’s, textiles and costumes anticipated and performed the ideological swings from communism to neo-liberalism to political Islam. The bankruptcy of the textile industries and the revival of crafts tradition in the post-perestroika period shaped the ground for artistic communities to build resistance to conforming notions of the individual and society. Costumes and Collapse, the Spring -Summer 2023 program at Pickle Bar, presents a series of  lectures, performances, rounds tables and screenings that look at how reinterpreting traditional clothes, ironicising uniforms or queering garments against a backdrop of imperial collapse shapes new forms of politics, memorializes difference, and forges new communities.

Curators (Slavs and Tatars): Patricia Couvet, Anastasia Marukhina