Images by Milagros de la Torre. From the series Bulletproof.
It is said that Milagros de la Torre investigates the censored and the forgotten along with the fearful, the painful, and the fragile. And the underlying violence that begets these states and sensations is often hidden in the fold of certain unassuming objects. Such as clothes.
TheseÂ in particular, in the imges above, were designed by Miguel Caballero: the ‘Armani of the armored clothing’.
Says the ICP website:
“Throughout her career, Milagros de la Torre has explored the traces of hidden and often violent narratives to reveal their broader social and political implications, particularly within Latin America. Her most recent series, Bulletproof (2008) reflects her fascination with objects that reveal histories of violence and power. Beguiling in their apparent simplicity, these photographs use a straightforward approach to record what appear to be everyday articles of clothingâ€”a t-shirt, blouse, or sports jacket. These are in fact armor-plated designer garments sold in luxury boutiques, whose purpose is to inconspicuously protect the wearer from gunshot wounds. Photographed on their hangers against a blank background and printed at life-size, these disembodied garments float in the frame as though awaiting the viewer to claim them. Small clues reveal their true function: a hint of the armored breastplate is just discernible under the light blouse, the small zipper on the t-shirtâ€™s hemline provides a clue as to how the armor plate is inserted and removed, the “platinum” garment labels indicate the level of protection provided. Currently worn by politicians (including, allegedly, President Obama on Inauguration Day) and the rich and famous, such bulletproof clothing caters to an elite clientele that has come to expect the discrete protection offered by these armor-plated garments.
Bulletproof is included in Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, on view through January 17, 2010. Other artists include Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Martha Rosler, Cindy Sherman and Hu Yang, among many others. So if any one is around New York…
(We will soon meet and chat with Milagros here in Mexico City; expect a TÃ³xico interview soon.)
(Gracias Milagros por las imÃ¡genes)