Nicole Killian and Savannah Knoop


“Your Pants Are My Etc” is curious through style. Originating in a collaborative dialogue between NK and SK, the objects and videos juxtaposed here follow a basic principle held dear by the avid thrift-store shopper: the garment that is chanced upon—yet is neither here nor there—holds a potentiality.

There are three instantaneous transformations of a garment for sale in a thrift store; first, the intended context—a garment’s stylistic markers of class, age, and gender—become secondary yet is never lost completely. An object, or garment, carries its story. Second, the intended body— a garment’s size and tailoring—becomes malleable through wear and tear, stretch and shrink, wrinkle and fade. Third, the intended cost— the manifestation of corporate calculations of labor and demand—is scaled down to a cost that encourages experimentation and play. The works in “Your Pants Are My Jacket” flow from this drift of branded commodity to queered potential.

Queer style: a process. Taking bits of what’s offered and imagining a new offering. Pre-packaged does not exist. Holding history’s details while allowing its structural status quo to fall away. Imagining bodies that are not standardized and do not move through the world in an understood way. To hem, cut, re-drape, dye, stretch, take in, take out, tuck, lace, fringe, flip, frump, roll, cinch, scrunch— and then to imagine the body again. The clothing stretches the body, and the body stretches the clothing — creating a space for body/object empathy.
It could be that we have never thought to put something like this on our body. It could be that we want to put our body on this garment.


Nicole Killian’s work uses design, video, objects and writing to investigate how the structures of shared platforms affect contemporary interaction and shape identity from a queer, feminist perspective. She is co-editor and designer of ISSUES with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener. Her writing has been published in WOW HUH, Carets + Sticks, and The Enemy and has upcoming pieces with Exempt Works in Modern Behaviours and theJournal of Feminist Scholarship. Nicole received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and is based in Richmond Virginia. 

Savannah Knoop is a Brooklyn based artist who creates and employs strategies of permission through object-making, performance, and writing. In 2001 she founded the clothing line Tinc, which ran until 2009, with creative partner Parachati Pattajotti. In 2007, she published a memoir titled Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy (Seven Stories Press). Savannah is part of the triumvirate of the monthly audio/visual party Woahmone. She received her MFA at VCU in Sculpture+Extended Media.