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Forget NYFW—Gypsy Sport’s Rio Uribe Costumes a Politicized Pole Dance at Frieze LA

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Forget NYFW—Gypsy Sport’s Rio Uribe Costumes a Politicized Pole Dance at Frieze LA

Rio Uribe has made his mark on Frieze Week Los Angeles. On Saturday at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, the Gypsy Sport designer and L.A. native debuted his collaboration with Paris-based artists and choreographers Gerard & Kelly (Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly). Uribe created costumes for the U.S. premiere of State of, the duo’s 2017 dance performance piece, an exploration of identity politics against the backdrop of Trump’s America.

Having weathered the kind of fickle highs and lows all too familiar to independent designers, Uribe draws a parallel between the fractured political landscape and what’s going on in fashion. “The same way that American identity is in flux, I think fashion is. We’re like, ‘What the hell is the fashion industry?’” In response, this season he joined the growing ranks of designers to opt out of New York Fashion Week, instead choosing to focus his creative energies on State of. “It feRio Uribe has made his mark on Frieze Week Los Angeles. On Saturday at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, the Gypsy Sport designer and L.A. native debuted his collaboration with Paris-based artists and choreographers Gerard & Kelly (Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly). Uribe created costumes for the U.S. premiere of State of, the duo’s 2017 dance performance piece, an exploration of identity politics against the backdrop of Trump’s America.

“I wanted to complement the piece without distracting from it,” Uribe offered of the designs for State of, which riffed on all-American visual codes from Olympic tracksuits to the flag itself. Streamers and shorts with fringed trim nodded to the pageantry of sporting events—even perhaps hinting at the darker side of nationalism. “It’s sometimes hard to reconcile your patriotism or national identity against your other identities,” Uribe said. “Being masculine versus feminine, straight versus gay, bi, and everything else in between.” Focused on non-binary clothing since its debut in 2012, Gypsy Sport interrogates the spectrum of identity just as Gerard & Kelly do in State of.

Evocative and hyper-referential, the piece explores race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of the Olympics in particular. Kelly and fellow dancers Forty Smooth and Quenton Stuckey mixed modern dance with astonishing pole work, backed by Whitney Houston’s soaring Super Bowl XXV “Star-Spangled Banner” and Etta James’s “I Would Rather Go Blind.” Smooth himself is a veteran of New York City’s “Showtime” subway performers, a predominantly black community that’s more institutionally criminalized than it is celebrated.

Gerard & Kelly’s choreography for the piece played on a tension of strength and vulnerability. Smooth would hold a gravity-defying pose on the pole, Adonis-like, before collapsing into Stuckey and Kelly’s arms to recover. It was a depiction of masculinity that was arresting in its tenderness. Other movements nodded to familiar imagery, from military marches to giving dap, and even a full-on game of Capture the Flag. When Smooth took a knee, it evoked Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest, the crossroads of pop culture and the politicized. “What is my identity in America?” Uribe posed after, echoing the kind of questions Gerard & Kelly raise with State of: What does it mean to be a man? To be a person of color? To be queer? To be an American?els like maybe I’m more accepted here in [the art] world, because in fashion there are people who are supportive but are not really buying my clothes or supporting it in retail.” He points to recent Gypsy Sport purchases by institutions like the National Museum of Scotland and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

“I wanted to complement the piece without distracting from it,” Uribe offered of the designs for State of, which riffed on all-American visual codes from Olympic tracksuits to the flag itself. Streamers and shorts with fringed trim nodded to the pageantry of sporting events—even perhaps hinting at the darker side of nationalism. “It’s sometimes hard to reconcile your patriotism or national identity against your other identities,” Uribe said. “Being masculine versus feminine, straight versus gay, bi, and everything else in between.” Focused on non-binary clothing since its debut in 2012, Gypsy Sport interrogates the spectrum of identity just as Gerard & Kelly do in State of.

Evocative and hyper-referential, the piece explores race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of the Olympics in particular. Kelly and fellow dancers Forty Smooth and Quenton Stuckey mixed modern dance with astonishing pole work, backed by Whitney Houston’s soaring Super Bowl XXV “Star-Spangled Banner” and Etta James’s “I Would Rather Go Blind.” Smooth himself is a veteran of New York City’s “Showtime” subway performers, a predominantly black community that’s more institutionally criminalized than it is celebrated.

Gerard & Kelly’s choreography for the piece played on a tension of strength and vulnerability. Smooth would hold a gravity-defying pose on the pole, Adonis-like, before collapsing into Stuckey and Kelly’s arms to recover. It was a depiction of masculinity that was arresting in its tenderness. Other movements nodded to familiar imagery, from military marches to giving dap, and even a full-on game of Capture the Flag. When Smooth took a knee, it evoked Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest, the crossroads of pop culture and the politicized. “What is my identity in America?” Uribe posed after, echoing the kind of questions Gerard & Kelly raise with State of: What does it mean to be a man? To be a person of color? To be queer? To be an American?


Source: Vogue.com