Taskforce: Solving the World is Easy to Do
An exhibition of new work by Jill Kennedy-McNeill.
July 9th - 30th at Romford Shopping Hall.
You can solve anything if you just find the right hero, and the sustainability movement - widely presented as the solution to our fast fashion problem - has plenty of heroes for us to choose from. These champions gather in rooms and say inspiring words; working groups assemble, strategists strategise and international conferences are held to try to figure out what to do next to save the world. “What can we do?” they ask. “Reduce water waste?” “Here’s a nectarine that becomes a bomber jacket.” “Change needs to come from the consumer.” “Have people tried mending?” And, as if by magic, the role the Fashion Industry plays in manufacturing desire, perpetuating conspicuous consumption and fueling the growth paradigm, is never called into question during these conversations.
‘Task Force: Solving the World is Easy To Do’ is an exhibition and game that features 6 brave heroes of the sustainability crusade. Each one wears a costume made from upcycled clothing. Information about how much these garments cost to make and how much the people who made them might have been paid are the stats you can use to play the game. The Fashion Industry, at every level, operates (varyingly) in accordance with a business model reliant on planned obsolescence, international deregulation and free market economics, all of which are inextricable from the continuing exploitation of workers. Whilst creating a space to consider what our lives begin to look like when acquisition is no longer our primary objective, ‘Task Force’ asks; who will come out on top, in a game where everybody loses?
Jill Kennedy-McNeill is a Scottish artist living and working in London. She trained in Fashion and Textile Design and Production, skills which she mostly alienates from their intended purpose, preferring instead to retaliate by creating objects and installations that infrequently pay any attention to wearability.
She is a graduate of Chelsea College of Arts (2016), London College of Fashion (2013) and Glasgow School of Art (2005) and produces work that questions power structures by exploring ideas of access and participation. She usually anchors this work in the mundane and communicates ideas with the aid of perversity. Her practice often involves collaboration with community and charity groups and works have been exhibited in solo and group shows across the UK. She also teaches in Further and Higher Education.