Sunday, January 03, 2010

Go Hardcore or Go Home.

The best part of Mark Leckey's "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore," his trippy 1999 video art ode to the British clublands of yesterday? The clothes.

There's something charged about what people wear when they go out. It's the apotheosis of their identity; the thing they most want to say to everyone who sees them. It's the way they most want to look. Going out clothes are not work clothes, not school clothes, they aren't stay at home or run errand clothes, they are "This is me." clothes: This is me hot, ready, and at my self-defined best. This is me attracting you, this is me telling you something real about myself, or at least trying to. This is me in my dancing shoes. This is the best I've got. Check me out. But hurry--it will all look foolish, ancient, and undeniably out-of-touch before your hangover fades.

But, while fashion trends come and go, the energy of a night out--shaking your ass to a repetitive beat while some substance, or even plain adrenaline, courses through you in a high-ceilinged, crowd-stuffed, reverberating space--is easily one of the more lasting incentives to don your best outfit. It may be one of the more lasting reasons to make it through your life actually: To go out.

Stills from the film.

Leckey's video is made of found footage that looks like it was unearthed from some hazy, hallucinogenic, dream of how things used to be, and really puts a finer point on the ephemeral nature of fashion. Just the fact that I have to explain who Fiorucci is (only the most coveted designer brand of the late '70s/early '80s, only the inventor of designer denim, only the brand Madonna wanted most) speaks volumes about how short lived cool or hot or essential items are. People used to fork over paychecks for the stuff, and now most don't know what it is. Makes you wonder how silly your life will seem in retrospect, right? Actually, it will never seem silly to you. It will be deathly serious in its cool factor to you. It will be laughable to those who came along even a day past your prime. Your kids will laugh at you, that's for sure. Those are the breaks. Keep it moving people, just keep it moving. And while you're moving, why not do it to a beat? Cue the throbbing bass and the dancing masses.

You can see the full video and tons of other amazing works of video art at UbuWeb. Thanks to the best dressed coworker I have, and brilliant analyzer of film, Mr. Graig Uhlin of Mass Ornaments for the resource.

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