MarieVic b. 1960
A cashmere liaison between Mongolian goats and low-cost Uniqlo sweaters 2017
Uniclones is a video work in which mass produced clothing is decontextualized from its branded myth and repurposed for wry, discordant effect. Uniclones comments on the relationship between Mongolian cashmere goats and Uniqlo cashmere sweaters, and more broadly, between nomadic life and fast fashion products, through rather absurd juxtaposition.
The work itself is a two-channel video – a binary view of a pastoral landscape in which livestock wander freely. Goats, sheep, camels, reindeers and yaks carry on as any animal would in a rural setting, except that they are draped in Uniqlo products. This gesture juxtaposes an agrarian life with the clothing derived from it.
Uniclones takes a close look at agrarian dynamics, at the role of the individual within the flock. This dynamic is somehow mirrored in the marketplace, in which companies like Uniqlo shepherd consumers toward products. As a global brand, Uniqlo has made accessible to the masses a luxury good that was once only available to the few. Their products are attractive, disposable and even ethical. The retailer provides its community of consumers an individuating product: it satisfies the hedonist desire of quality conscious consumers while neutralizing (via corporate social responsibility) the anxiety provoked by its own mechanisms of production, appeasing a sort of ethical dilemma within the herd. In this dynamic, the corporation has become the shepherd and the consumer the flock. Uniclones is somewhat subversive in its message, but playful in its tone. It is not clear that these are the exact animals from which this fabric comes, or that the production process is in any clear way unsettling. What is clear in the video project is that these animals are reasonably happy, and that they are draped in Western clothing, each one an individual, yet posturing collectively.