Jamie Funk is a fashion designer, soft-sculptor, performer, and writer with a BFA in Fashion Design at Pratt Institute. Beginning from spatial, psychological, and philosophical research, Funk creates work that insists on converging the wearer and space, making her work deeply experiential. This is why, whenever possible, she works in mixed media that is itself site-specific: making videos, performance pieces, and site-specific installation works in addition to clothing. Exploring spatial relations makes her work at once historically and philosophically referential while pointing to the varying ways in which individuals may approach physical and metaphysical spaces within themselves. To further understand how clothing has the ability to aid people in using dressing as a tool to comprehend the intersectionality of modes of being (connecting race, sexuality, gender, etc.), she’s expanded her practice to include creating fetish gear using latex and leather for their capabilities to express a notion of a second skin. In April 2019, her selected thesis work was staged as a performance piece, Thresh/Hold, at Mark Morris Dance Center.
The inspiration for my B.F.A. thesis collection, Thresh / Hold, stemmed both from my participation within New York’s BDSM community as well as my psychological research on BDSM, including primal scream theory. Within these contexts, I explored the relationship between vulnerability and connection that the BDSM community offers. Primal scream theory tells us that the healthiest people are defense-free; I’m inclined to believe that in allowing ourselves to become vulnerable and open ourselves up to pain allows us to come together, to align ourselves with our needs, to return to defenselessness as our strength. In this collection, I combine inflatable latex and clothing made from bodily detritus with flowing silks and intertwining knits to explore notions of corporeal vulnerability. Hair, blood, and balloons invite both the wearer and viewer into a visual dialogue that considers the fragile volume of a vulnerable state. In response to this, In April 2019, selected pieces from this collection were staged as a performance piece at Mark Morris Dance Center. each dancer entered the space from diverse contexts and practices, using touch and movement-based improvisational scores to explore vulnerability’s capacity to forge new paths of human connection. Through an exchange of intentional exposure and tentative connection, the dancers move through tension and arrive in a supported state.