Who’s that wearing his side locks out? Oh, that’s who! YUM’s curator discusses artist Michael Levin’s work on the different clothing styles of Hasidic Jews. A collection of six silkscreens on Arches 88 paper. Made at the LeRoy Nieman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, 2012. It’s not always easy to decode the minute differences between ultra-orthodox Jewish sects. Well, these images will guide you.
“Hasidic Dress Codes” is an experimental exposition of Williamsburg’s hasidic sects to the neighborhood’s non-hasidic residents, in which hasidic culture is reduced and commodified as a street-conscious fashion advertising campaign (without the consent or foreknowledge of its subjects). Beyond intersecting two opposed cultures, the project questions branding mechanisms within religious revivial movements such as hasidus. The spread of hasidus in Europe, as well as its articulation in America, can be said to operate like a franchise, continually adapting itself to (as well as creating) local needs and circumstances.
Shabbat Shalom Everybody!
All images from Michael Levin, Photo Credit: Beryl Meltzer