issue 02 – normcore is online
In October 2014 e-flux journal #58 published an article by Rory Rowan SO NOW!: On Normcore. This analysis of the post-critical discourse found its exemplification in the normcore phenomenon. The author analyzes this notion in it so-called manifesto: a publication Youth Mode: a report on Freedom published by K-hole collective in 2013. This text defines the most current trends and attitudes in Western societies: Mass Indie, Acting Bacis and Normcore. This comparison seems to be essential, as differences between these three are very fluid. However the easiest way to understand these trends is to refer to fashion tendencies none of them is defined only in relation with it. Normcore, defined by Fiona Duncan, is understood as a general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for “difference” or “authenticity.” In fashion, though, this manifests itself in ardently ordinary clothes. Mall clothes. Blank clothes. The kind of dad-brand non-style you might have once associated with Jerry Seinfeld, but transposed on a Cooper Union student with William Gibson glasses.
Rowan, aside from analytical description of the text, underlines its weak points or rather shortages. While formally economical and enumerative, K-hole’s statement fails to address the question of power in contemporary societies.
Interested with this critic and the phenomenon of a normcore recto/verso dedicates an issue 02 to this notion. Normcore and politics of fashion by Giulia Bortoluzzi analyzes the notion of normcore, “norm” or being “normal” reaching to the ethymology of these words as well as to Georges Canguilhelm’s and Michel Foucault’s theories. We shouldn’t make a statement at all by Anna Tomczak with an analysis of David Fincher’s recent Gap ads defines a normcore as a fluid and rather artificial cultural phenomenon which might not exist at all. Artist Quim Packard proposes an audio recording and a drawing referring to the condition of a human today exposed on intensive media stimulation. Italian fashion designer Anna Fregolent presents a mind map structuring the normcore. Selected movie Frances HA (2012) provides a cinematic equivalent of normcore: mumblecore. In a section #to listen Sean Nicholas Sevage song.