In his collection “What a glorious confession”, young designer Angus J. Kramer invites us to a historical, political and philosophical reflection.
By correlating two phenomena that may seem superficially antithetical -the Catholic Confessionals and the subcultural Gloryholes-, he intelligently proves there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
As he masters techniques in draping, top stitching and wiring, he brings forth dramatically constructed architectural pieces, with a celestial scent of sinuosity, aroused by aggressive elements of constriction and censorship.
Catholic Confessinals have historically been envisioned as a space of political control over societal behavior, a middle-age scheme that allowed the Church to exert it’s so longed for omniscience over people’s intimate acts, thoughts and words. Within the tiny, concealed space of the Confessional Box, penitants were made to declare their sins, as a means to attain acquittal. In other words, it was a space of reconciliation.
Interestingly enough, several reports are known to have been covered up by the Church, of abusive crimes that were then called “solicitation” (when the confessor requested sexual acts to the penitant in exchange for their absolution).
Gloryholes are a mostly gay subcultural phenomenon/practice, where two people annonymously engage in sexual activity through a small hole between lavatory cubicles.
A form of secrecy and depersonalization altogether. We can also look at it through the angle of internalized homophobia. Self-rejecting individuals seeking to reconcile with their true, inner selves (any resemblance to confession?).
Krammer’s choice of contrastingly behaving materials is also extremely significant, considering he uses Suede, a resistant, durable material, though superficially soft to the touch, alongside Cotton, a fabric known for it’s gentleness and fluidity.
Krammer’s talent can also be observed in his creative process. His drawings contemplate Renaissance Chiaroscuro, a technique which is basically a smart pictorial game of contrasting shades as to achieve drama.
Augustine once said “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, it’s yourself.”
MEA CULPA, MEA CULPA, MEA MAXIMA CULPA!
Central Saint Martins