Folklore U.S. by Seth Price
Published by Koenig Books (2014)
Folklore U.S debuted at dOCUMENTA (13), where Price juxtaposed three parallel, intertwined explorations: an installation of paintings together with fabric sculptures produced within the commercial garment industry; a line of military inspired clothing made in collaboration with fashion designer Tim Hamilton for sale at a Kassel department store; and a fashion show. All the works adapted the motif of the business envelope as container and symbol, and incorporated envelope security patterns, composed of both abstract designs and corporate logos. Over the next several years a fascinating body of work evolved that maps some of the contradictions and desires that bind the contemporary fields of finance, culture critique, industry, labour, and aesthetics.
Three interviews featuring various contributors to the project (Seth Price, Christopher Bollen, Bosko Blagojevic, Ben Morgan-Cleveland, and Bettina Funcke) give deep insights into both the labor and the concepts behind this multi-layered undertaking, using anecdote and speculation to guide readers through fabrication processes, materials, and industry protocols. The design of this book carefully follows these conversations, employing profuse illustrations to illuminate the Folklore U.S. universe of sculptures, paintings, music, clothing, handbags, videos, drawings, sketches, and performances, and traveling from the depths of New York’s Garment District to factories in Korea and China, art galleries, and German department stores.