In “Figure Studies”, Ondrejcak considers a new iteration of traditional portraiture in which various cultures, histories and aesthetics are fused into a complex cast of characters.

This 60-minute performative installation features 12 sculptures on simple white museum pedestals. Ondrejcak re-envisions a new collection of allegories for our contemporary world, with a diverse ensemble who execute a series of live, durational performances. Hope, Fame, Courage, Chastity, War, Love, Folly - how do these archetypes manifest in our interconnected, global economy?

Continuing his work with Ethical Fashion Initiative, Ondrejcak will collaborate with designers and artisans from the African continent - including Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, to create costumes that join the elements of anachronism, tradition and abstraction.

This is the second collaboration between EFI with theater and visual artist Andrew Ondrejcak, who links art historical objects with contemporary iconography, often putting a queer perspective on a classical form. From contemporary court masques (You Us We All: Kampnagel, Holland Festival, BAM, 2013) to modern-day landscapes of Bruegel (Elijah Green, The Kitchen, 2016), Ondrejcak’s highly imaginative work bridges sculpture, performance art, theater and fashion.

The Ethical Fashion Initiative is a flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. It was founded in 2009 by Simone Cipriani. Under its slogan, “NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK.” the Ethical Fashion Initiative advocates a fairer global fashion industry.

Figure Studies was developed during a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency in 2018.