BoSA - Briefing On Soft Arts, 2021

Dino Zrnec, work in progress, Regeneracija, 2019

BoSA - Briefing on Soft Arts / BoSA - is a curatorial project of the Center for research of Fashion and Clothing (CIMO) started in 2019 and turns to contemporary art practices that are based on soft materials (textiles) and soft reference procedures.

The creative program of the BoSA project conceptually connects the concept of "soft arts", which in addition to a direct connection with textile and related art located on the edges of applied and "free" art, here extends to other media of artistic expression with the aim of multidisciplinary questioning of textuality and materiality of textiles.

The BoSA project started in 2019, when 2 projects were realized: the artist Dino Zrnec (Zagreb) was presented at the Technical Museum, and the artist Maja Gecić (Belgrade) at the BLOK Gallery in Trešnjevka.

In 2020, BoSA continues the project of soft sculptures by the artist Josip Štefanec, which were presented in Maastricht (November 2020) and then in Zagreb (December 2020).

Historically, textiles as an equal artistic medium emerged in the artistic practices of the 1960s. It is transferred from private, home and anonymous women's handicrafts and applied arts to the field of public art, mainly in the form of "soft" sculpture, but also as installations or situations in which textile creation is associated with the so-called " women's art ''.

The dichotomy of soft and hard can be figuratively captured using terms that describe hard and soft edges (known in English as soft and hard edges or  lost and found edges). These terms describe two possible modes of soft expression that appear visible or invisible, profiled or non-profiled, definite or indefinite, that are clear on the surface and in space, or interact with them.

In the visual arts today, contemporary artists are problematizing this dichotomy in a new soft way. They approach the materiality and semantics of textiles, in the space of textile-textual discourse and traditional handicraft techniques that expand to new meanings of softness in artistic expression so that there is no connection with the other half, ie with the hard aspect of visual expression.

The term softness in the title BoSA, can refer to an exhibition that uses Prince's 1978 term Soft and Wet as its title: This exhibition was curated by Sadia Shirazi and co-curated by Ana Mendieta, Kazuko Miyamoto and Zarina in A.I.R. Gallery, NY (1980).

In this sense, we see the established binary division into soft and hard as less relevant, where only the term soft remains as an expression of meeting new issues and new artistic practices related not only to textiles and fashion, but also to alternative views extended to social, political, symbolic level of artistic activity. These projects do not exclude but open up an artistic space that transcends the "soft" textile sculpture, installation or situation, where the relationship between text (ile) and body, text (ile) and politics, text (ile) as well as performance itself form softness as less dominant value at the edges of hard dominant structures.


* The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb, for 2021.

* Photos: private archives t.v.

* Copyright © cimo - a center for fashion and clothing research. All rights reserved.