February 25–April 15
321 Gallery is pleased to present Am Schmidt's second solo show at 321 Gallery, Rachel's Wardrobes, based on Jennifer Aniston's character from the NBC television show Friends (1994–2004). On display will be four garment racks, each holding apparel mimicking that of Rachel Green from a specific scene.
Am Schmidt (b.1986, New Jersey) has shown work in recent group exhibitions that include TEN: PopRally at MoMA (New York City), Rubbings at ZAX (Queens), Will You at Pratt Institute (Brooklyn), and No Dice at Kimberly Klark (Queens). In spring 2017 she will be the artist in session at Recess (New York). Schmidt is a 2018 MFA candidate at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College. She lives and works in New York.
Rachel’s Wardrobes. 10 seasons, 4 wardrobes. How do I choose? Iconically? The outfits that come to mind? List those that do. I don’t want it to be all from one season, I want a span. Why? If I choose just one or two seasons, then it’s ABOUT those seasons. Is it? Either way. Whatever. What, so do I choose outfits for their iconicness? Their Rachelness? To me? And why should they be outfits that are most memorable—or, memorable to me? The choices are all so subjective. Choose the ones that speak to you and figure out what about them speaks to you. I feel the knee jerk to set parameters so that the choice-making has reason, basis, grounding (but words that sooner came to mind are ‘back-up,’ ‘defense’).
Some outfits of Rachel’s I remember:
- the Red Cross / long sleeve white tee, jeans, white sneakers
- black shorts overalls / white turtleneck sleeveless sweater, cream knee highs, black chunky shoes
- waitress black apron, sleeveless denim shirt
- blue velvet dress—tight, long sleeve? Turtleneck?
- (I more remember her hairstyles than outfits. She defined an era with her hairstyles. Each style was a chapter.)
What if the press release was an essay by me about her hairstyles, no mention of outfits? Well, I have to mention the outfits because I’m going to say that if work doesn’t sell, I’m returning the merchandise after the show, or reselling if I can’t return it. Well I can write about hairstyles as, like, getting into what each one was, what they meant to me, to what degree I mimicked them. This is about me being the target audience. So, this is about ‘Target Audience’. Why do I like Rachel’s outfits at all? Well, I’m not saying I necessarily like them. But to choose them—I love Rachel. I wanted to BE Rachel. So, like Dirty Dancing, the female ‘role model’. But Rachel is not such a great role model. Baby is the protagonist in an iconic movie, but Rachel is not THE protagonist (can there be ‘A protagonist’?), but A protagonist in an iconic TV show. I do need to chart seasons / years:
Season / Year
1 / 94-95
2 / 95-96
3 / 96-97
4 / 97-98
5 / 98-99
6 / 99-80
7 / 00-01
8 / 01-02
9 / 02-03
10 / 03-04
*For the duration of the show, 321 calls itself ‘Central Perk’.
I didn’t write down any more outfits I remember. Besides choosing outfits for their ‘iconicness’, they could be chosen for their ‘iconic-scene-ness.' ---- ‘The One where They’re on a Break’ or whatever. Could even utilize the show’s titling, i.e. Season 1, Episode 3: The One with the Thumb. Always The One with...
I could change episode titles. But this is getting esoteric, if one COULD be esoteric about Friends. Rachel is an icon of my adolescence. I could defend that fact, but defending it or not doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. What fucking outfits do you like? What’s the difference between outfits people would recognize, like her waitress outfit, vs. outfits people might not know? They all have to be part of that style. But don’t have to be recognizable; I’ve recognized them for you! My ears hurt from these headphones. Go take a break and watch some episodes.