Lara Torres
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Unmaking - 2016


The short film ‘Unmaking’ explores the limits of fashion practices today, proposing a ‘stream of consciousness’ in which Lara looks into transcribing intricate thought processes through the medium of video. The film displays the complexity of these processes of association with existing ideas in an attempt to critically define ‘fashion’. The film’s ‘unmaking’ deconstructs preconceptions about the relationship between body, clothing, production and consumption in an attempt to understand the constituted makeup of ‘fashion’, as one does by undoing the seams of a jacket to know how it was constructed. Intended for use as a means of reflection and resistance, the film refers to a post-productivist condition of fashion design by exposing the limits of production driven by overproduction within the increasingly global market of the 21st century.

Lara Torres, Director; Joana Linda, Co-director & Camera; Margarida Leitão, Second Camera; Sónia Baptista, Performer; Miguel Bonneville, Performer; João Caldas, Performer/Maker; Gonçalo Birra, Assistant; John Kannenberg, Sound;

This research film was developed as part of Lara Torres's practice-based PhD and aims to illustrate the activities that sustain a strategy for critical fashion tested as film, designed to achieve critical fashion practices. In this research, the presented body of work is a sequence of 14 short allegorical film sequences edited and re-edited (several times) into a short essay-film (10’18”). The essay-film produced during the duration of this Ph.D. was developed by constituting a method of self-reflective editing, writing reflectively every time a sequence was filmed and added to the film. The version of the film would re-edited and the message reformulated, adding complexity to the narrative but also simultaneously trying to simplify the sequences illustrated. To Lara the editing of the film was put together itself as a form of research. 

Unmaking is seen here as an activity inherits from fashion deconstruction the idea of subtraction and displacement. This also contextualizes my own previous relevant artistic projects which used the same destruction-led artistic methods, because they all seem to have within them deconstructions relating to their own specific contexts of activity. As she moved towards a ‘dematerialized’ practice (to use Lucy Lippard’s term), film itself began to, as my previous practice, decompose - becoming a fragmentary form which, alludes to the process of thought in the process of being thought. There is in this strategy a negation of one of the main aspects of fashion: making. By not producing garments represents a position of resistance towards over-production and commercialisation of the fashion product, by working with film Lara's intention has been to replace the product by the idea/image which is essential in the definition of fashion itself. Providing new ways to deepen and expand the areas of intervention and action available to fashion practitioners, Lara Torres questions the fashion system by interrogating the definition of fashion itself through the juxtaposition of images, text and sound in a poetic essay-film.

Making of 'Unmaking'

Photos: Joana Linda