If you’ve ever enjoyed surprising everyone at a Halloween party, you may want to drop by a playful dress-up event at the next year. This time, you might surprise yourself.
In the BCA’s artist residency program, Stacy Scibelli, a Brooklyn artist, will invite participants to try on at least 300 garments, all handmade by her, in any way and in any combination as they please, as they get photographed.
In various shades of blue, green, gray and yellow, each piece is hand sewn with an arm hole here, a neck hole there, all with ambiguous shapes and mysterious intended uses. They can be worn as shirts, pants, scarves, hats, skirts or whatever you can imagine.
“You need to figure out and negotiate your way into and out of the garments,” Scibelli said. “It’s entirely up to the audience members.”
It’s more about the connection being made, or not being made, between participants than any discipline wielded by Scibelli. The artist said she was surprised by the interaction between participants from the first time the project went public.
“A lot of these pieces I don’t even know what they’re going to do with them,” she laughed. “But people actually do put them on, and teach me something about them, which I think is the most exciting part of the project.”
One of her pieces was called “Sabotage,” a “tickle machine” where two people are snapped into the garment, with their arms confined in sleeves that direct their hands straight to the other’s armpits. Trapped in the subtle awkwardness, participants are forced to tickle or squeeze the other until they both collapsed.
Scibelli is planning to add a new pickling workshop next year. In the current plan, participants will be invited to pickle prepared food, like pepper and garlic, with their own, improvised recipes. In the following weeks, Scibelli will then make a piece of artwork on each food with the look of the pickle and the personality of the recipe maker.
“Food is the same thing as clothing, what we all experience on a daily basis. We are very familiar and comfortable with it,” she said. “But maybe we don’t create our own food as much.”
“I’m really curious to see how it goes in the South End,” she added.
Click here to keep updated on Scibelli’s workshop in March next year, and book your calendar if you would like to test these garments with a bit of humor and adventure.