— I both actively and passively participate in Being. — My uniqueness is given but it simultaneously exists only to the degree to which I actualize this uniqueness (in other words, it is in the performed act and deed that has yet to be achieved). — Because I am actual and irreplaceable I must actualize my uniqueness.
Rescued in 1972 from a storeroom in which rats and seeping water had severely damaged the fifty-year-old manuscript, M.M. Bakhtin’s seemingly upcycled work Toward a Philosophy of the Act outlines ideas deeply parallel with those behind the talented team of stylists and designers at Royal Peasantry ~ The notion of self-authorship, responsibility, the relationship between self and other, the moral significance of “outsideness,” participatory thinking, and the implications for the individual subject of having “no-alibi in existence.”
Royal Peasantry’s company mission is to combine the creativity and necessity of fashion, with direct responsibility for our planet by up-cycling clothing excess that has already been manufactured. They have, over the years, been recycling thousands of pieces of disregarded clothing, and breathing transformative life back into them by creating custom garments, with an expressive sense of style and flavor.
Shot during the installation of the art exhibition PLAY, organized and curated by the Asheville Art Museum, these photos represent the latest of Royal Peasantry’s work. Offering a juxtaposition between the model and individual subject, the stylists at Royal Peasantry strive to slowly coax the desires to the surface, where we begin to sense the inner spirit of the individual entering a transformation. Like the Lacanian objet petit a, this is the strange object…the inscription of the individual subject him/herself into a field of objects. When viewed from a standpoint undistorted by individual fears, these pieces acquire their definitive shape. Royal Peasantry and the More than Mammal design line have been dedicated to “the disappearing” since 1999….
Or like the smile in Alice in Wonderland that persists alone, even when the Cheshire cat’s body is no longer present: “‘All right,” said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.” Special thanks to Laila Alamari, Special Events Coordinator at the Asheville Art Museum.