Rescue Worker at the Factory Collapse of Rana Plaza
Quilted and pieced cotton fabric
In Factory Collapse at Rana Plaza, Gregory Climer has recreated in pieced fabric an Associated Press image of a rescue worker pulling from a garment factory that collapsed on 24 April 2013. The factory had known structural issues and employees were required to work these unsafe conditions regardless.
While most of our clothing is made in similarly deadly conditions, seeing these atrocities in the news does little to change our shopping habits. Our addiction to fast fashion and the seemingly endless race to the bottom for the lowest prices has caused us to look the other way when human rights are being violated in the name of profit margins. We see these tragic stories as distant, something on the screen, when the reality is we are wearing these stories on our bodies every day.
While making this piece, Climer reflected on his privilege in this world. Why is his sewing valued while theirs is not? They share the same skills and yet their lives were diminished, ultimately destroyed, so people like himself could have a cheaper, new outfit to wear.
Overall, Climer’s work focuses on how traditional crafts can be transformed by new technologies in a way that maintains the warmth and value of the handmade. The work is designed to be viewed both on screen and in the real world. By creating pixelated work that comes into focus on the screen and using a combination of traditional and new techniques, he is exploring perception on multiple levels and our ability to disconnect from the world around us.
Gregory Climer, Rescue Worker at the Factory Collapse of Rana Plaza, 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist
Purchase this artwork and others from the Call & Response exhibition online at MCD’s Artists Marketplace.
Greg Climer is the chair of the fashion program at California College of the Arts. He received his MFA in design+technology from Parsons School of Design. His textile work has been shown in the Museum of Art and Design (NYC), The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (NYC), The DeYoung Museum (San Francisco, CA), The Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, NC), Muskegon Museum of Art (Muskegon, MI), and many galleries.
In addition to having his namesake menswear label, he has also worked on the design teams for Victoria’s Secret Runway Show, Karl Lagerfeld, Imitation of Christ, John Bartlett, as well as many broadway shows and movies.