Gallery MOMO will present its new exhibition titled Dress Code in early May, in which a group of artists will showcase their work using costume as a medium. This upcoming exhibition celebrates and explores costume and its role in contemporary art.

Clothing has become a fundamental part of our lives. Whether motivated by social or environmental factors, it is how we have come to express ourselves. And due to the many meanings clothing can contain, it has become a way of expressing and identifying class, gender and culture. In fact, just by looking at what a person wears, you could tell a great deal about them, without ever meeting.

Mary Sibande, one of the artists in the exhibition has explored this theme before in her work. By looking at human form through sculpture, she has explored privileged ideals of beauty and femininity – particularly through the eyes of black women. The exhibition will showcase Sibande’s 2011 piece titled Living Memory: a striking black woman dressed in military-styled clothing atop a small black base which is rather reminiscent of the plastic army men toys which were mass produced in the 60s.

Mary Sibande, courtesy of Gallery MOMO


According to Gallery MOMO, costume is a powerful medium to work through, “Artists who work with the medium of costume seek to utilize, subvert, and critique its imposing character.” Due to the fact that costume is performative in nature, it has the potential to deliver social commentary, like Sibande has done so masterfully in her work.

Francois Knoetze, courtesy of Gallery MOMO


The exhibition will be held at Gallery MOMO in Cape Town from 11 May to 10 June and will showcase the following artists: Ceil Ann, Lizette Chirrime, Rory Emmett, Ayana V, Jackson, Francois Knoetze, Lesiba Mabitsela, Maurice Mbikayi, Siwa Mgoboza, Sethembile Msezane, and Mary Sibande.