Costume Design Sub-commission

Minutes of OISTAT Costume Design Sub-commission Meeting at OISTAT Online World Congress October 13, 2021

Nov 3, 2021

Minutes of OISTAT PDC/C Meeting
Performance Design Commission / Costume Design Sub-commission
October 13, 2021
Format: Zoom 
Chair: Simona Rybáková (Czech Republic)
Vice Chairs: Rosane Muniz (Brazil) and Sofia Pantouvaki (Greece/Finland) 
Minutes: Margaret Mitchell (USA)

In the meeting (45 members):
Anat Mesner, Ary Giordani, Carolina Jimenez, Chenshin Wang, Claudia Suárez, Daphne Karstens, Elaine Nascimento, Estela Fagoaga, Fausto Viana, Fruzsina Nagy, Helo Cardoso, Heloisa Lyra Bulcão, Isabela Tavares, Karina Machado, Laura Crow, Lise Klitten, Livia Loureiro, Luciana Aguiar, Maarit Kalmakurki, Margaret Mitchell, Marwa Auda, Masako Sazanami, Mateja Fajt, Nada Simunova, Nadia Luciani, Naiema Agamy, Nehal Hommos, Nermine Said, Ney Madeira, Paula De Paoli, Renato Bolelli Rebouças, Rosana Rocha, Rosane Muniz, Sabrina Notarfrancisco, Samara Pavlova, Sandy Bonds, Sara Salomon, Simona Rybáková, Sofia Pantouvaki, Sonia Paiva, Sudip Pradhan, Susanna Suurla, Yasmine Abo Fakner, Zoe Kelesi, Zuzu Hudek

Meeting started:

Simona Rybáková welcomed all participants, congratulated the elected OISTAT Executive Committee members April Viczko and Sofia Pantouvaki, and thanked Lise Klitten for her participation as a candidate, highlighting the fact of having three candidates from the Costume Design Sub-commission, which shows the big activity and vitality of the group. 


The meeting started with the Flash Talks session, organized by the Sub-commission’s leadership, with eight members sharing their projects:

Zuzu Hudek (Slovakia) introduced the members to Project Metamorphosis, a creation and study of costume and performer undergoing transformation during the performance. She shared several examples including The Shell Project. In all projects the costume transforms and relates to emotional and soul states of the wearer. Zuzu Hudek explained she has an interest in exploring mental health issues in her work. Ultimately, she is engaged in exploring how performers and costumes go through transformations together. http://zuzuhudek.com/en/Home 

Daphne Karstens (Netherlands) shared her approach to costume as a wearable sculpture. She introduced the members to a project in progress, a triptych called PING, PANG, PONG.
PING deals with physical and ephemeral body. PANG deals with the performer as scenography; the scenography comes alive through movement. PONG is a future project. She shared two other related projects, Sessions #1 and Session #2, which were part of the Critical Costume Exhibition, in 2020 (https://exhibition.costumeagency.com). Daphne is interested in negative space and limitations of movement for the performer. MAAS-Intergalactic Superspace Songfest 2021, an online play for children, resulted in a costume made of drinking straws. Her costumes become abstract wearable sculptures.

Laura Crow (USA) presented two related exhibitions she has recently curated: The Corset as Art, at the Southern Utah Museum of Art (July 24 – September 25, 2021) and The Big Squeeze at Gallery ZAZ10TS (September 14 – November 28, 2021). The idea for these exhibitions came from her curatorial work on Innovative Costume of the 21st Century: The Next Generation, an exhibition that happened in Moscow. Laura discussed the evolution of costume as art, the costume designer as dramaturg, and changing methods of costume making related to materiality. The exhibitions include work by Katarzyna Konieczka and from the WOW (World of Wearable Art Award) winner, Nika Danielska.

Isabela Tavares (UAE) presented Eurydice: The Visual Poetics of Costume Design for a Myth Reimagined, her design and production experiments for Sarah Ruhl’s play, Eurydice. Isabela Tavares is interested in the transformation of rites of passage for women and she is exploring materiality of the costumes. She shared her experiments with hydrochromic fabric paint. The paint is white when first applied and then dries to a rigid hand. When the fabric gets wet, as it must in Eurydice, the fabric relaxes and the parts of the fabric that make contact with water relax and instantly reveal (as if by magic) the fabric color below the paint. 

Nermine Said (Egypt) shared a project she is writing and creating: a docudrama about her mother’s wedding dress. Nermine acts as writer, dramaturg, art director, and director. Her mother was married at home in Cairo in 1970, wearing a dress made with fabric by Pierre Cardin. Nermine Said has researched the dress and its anthropological and social contexts. Her docudrama discusses culture, tradition, politics and the societal expectations of the wedding night. She is also discovering the history of Egyptian tailors and dressmakers and how clothes are evidence of life experience. 

Renato Bolelli Rebouças (Brazil) shared the work of his partner and colleague Marcelo Denny (who died in 31 August 2020) and their projects with the Laboratory of Performative Practices. Renato explained the following projects: Ritual Painted Bodies Project, Blind, Designers on the Edge, Digital Skin, What Cross Your Skin?, Faun Anatomy , Devils, Discontinued, and Shadows. The work explores the following topics or issues: body as architecture, shamanism, psychological experiments, trauma, identity, colonization, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and power structures. This research will be published soon. 

Yasmine Abo Fakher (Syria), scenographer, screenwriter and translator, shared designs for King Lear, The Rite of Spring, The Government Inspector, and other abstract projects. Yasmine explored and compared the psychological aspects of characters, the elements of costume design, and the dynamics of physical space. Yasmine believes design can make societal changes, and this is her aim. 

Simona Rybáková (Czech Republic) presented a biographical video documenting her last year and a half living and (sometimes) working in the pandemic. Simona took the members through her diary and shared her moving journey of professional stops and starts and restarts, productions cancelled, projects on hold. While living in the uncertainty of her professional life, both parents and her aunt died. As she said goodbye to these beloved people, she also welcomed her first grandchild. Finally, she shared with us how she is attempting to work in continuing pandemic conditions. 

After the presentation it was planned to have a discussion about the presentations, but due to the lack of time, it didn’t happen. The costume leadership asked the presenters and got permission for sharing their presentations on Basecamp, so the OISTAT costume members would have a chance to open future online discussions about their topics. You can access the presentations at: https://3.basecamp.com/3589711/buckets/17658940/vaults/4287941569 


World Stage Design (WSD)
Calgary, Canada - 6-16 August 2022
•    By the end of October 2021, selected projects for Scenofest at WSD will be announced.
•    Sub-Commission’s Leadership offered congratulations for the costume designers selected for WSD exhibition: Fruzsina Nagy, Simona Rybáková, Daphne Karstens, Mónica Raya and members of Vestuario a Escena Mx also in other categories in the exhibition (e.g. Performance Design)
•    Sandy Bonds (USA) is member of the Jury and posted the link to the short listed WSD costume designers in the chat. There were 99 entries selected for the gallery exhibition and 15 are from costume designers.

Vestuario a Escena Mx  & World Costume in Action (WCiA)*
Mexico City, May-June 2022
Organized by Vestuario a Escena Mx (the Mexican Costume designers’ association):
•    Carolina Jiménez (Mexico) presented information about the upcoming meeting in Mexico City within the larger event, Vestuario a Escena Mx. The event will include performances, an international exhibition, workshops and cultural activities, as well as a costume parade. 
•    The international exhibition will include 20 artists. Carolina clarified that work from the past 22 years may be submitted for consideration in the exhibition. More than one project can be sent. The deadline for submitting work to be considered for this exhibition is at the end of November. 
•    The Basic Schedule: 
May 4 - June 12: performances, workshops and exhibitions (exhibition opening May 4th)
May 11 - 15: OISTAT World Costume in Action (meetings, presentations, panels)
June 12: Costume Parade
•    The information is in Basecamp and submissions for the exhibition can be done via this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScY6TVj26gQ9simoHaRwS0aoQ89udza1XvW128PjsP-F5cGjg/viewform 


•    Critical Costume 2022 conference and exhibition: October or November 2022 (online);
•    Tentative invitation from Egypt to meet physically end of 2022 or 2023;
•    PQ: 8-18 June 2023;
The PQ General Director, Marketa Fantová, has asked us to refer to the PQ web site. All the calls will be there for applying to share work at the various sessions of the event. There will be space for many people to share work at PQ (physically)
On October 31, 2021 will open the call for submissions to PQ. The suggestion for the group is for translating information for local colleagues about PQ. 


Naiema Agamy (Egypt) stated (through Nehal Hommos’s translation) that there will be a meeting in Morocco, in the last week of October 2022 and the program is well organized. Lise Klitten (Denmark) clarified about another meeting that will follow in November 2024, in the Sharm el-Sheikh International Theatre for Youth. Naiema Agamy will share the schedule and give more details further. 

Rosane Muniz asked for introductions of new people and stated not to let English be a barrier to non- English speaking participants. She stated there is usually someone who can translate in some common language. Sofia Pantouvaki clarified that all information about the submissions for exhibitions will be on Basecamp. Then, they thanked everyone for coming to the meeting and ended the session. 

*World Costume in Action (WCiA) is the brand name for the Costume Sub-commission meetings and activities.