This blog is a moodboard. It keeps together the things that inform Inspired by life, a clothing “collection” that uses clothes as vehicles for ideas about body, memory of the communist past, precarity and possibilities of resistance.
The text that can be read on the pages of this blog has the same fragmented character as our project itself, a project that uses various methods, materials and layers in order to build out of pieces an image that is multi-faceted and self-reflective. This blog puts together fragments of statements already written in connection with our work, fragments from the diary we kept in the different locations of the project, descriptions of the clothes we made, quotes that we use as inspiration, photos and drawings, etc., fragments that make connections between things like everyday reality and theoretical texts, personal stories and the society at large, aspects of inequality, unfairness and violence but also gestures of resistance and hope.
The issue of the public sphere and the acknowledgement of the importance of creating new spaces and of enlarging the possibilities of political expression and action, in the conditions of a continuously shrinking public space, is of constant interest to our work. Also, analysing what it means in the present times to have a powerful and relevant feminist position and trying to act accordingly is the main thread that links the different facets of our practice, the different forms and formats that our work takes, such as project spaces, workshops, publications, photos, drawings, etc. Inspired by life is informed by these interests, too, by the need to state a feminist position in an anti-capitalist frame and the need to explore the possibilities of expression in a public sphere where most gestures of dissent are in danger of being either ignored, or policed, or incorporated by the exact thing that these gestures aim to oppose.
Inspired by life, although presented as a “collection,” does not follow a certain formal line such as common compositional elements for the pieces, or a certain type of fabric, a certain colour scheme etc., that would give the different pieces a note of formal unity. Each piece that we include in the collection follows its own story, and we move from one piece to another, according to the ideas that we want them to become the bearers of.
The clothes that are part of Inspired by life are created, transformed and re-used starting from what is around us, in our everyday environment, starting from the objects we come across, thinking of the people we want to identify with, of the ideas that we think are important, of our bodies in their most physical aspects, etc.
We use different practical methods to make visible the narratives that are informing the clothes, and the materials that we use are of varied and multiple nature. We could mention here the actual physical objects such as clothing items that we transform or fabrics that we use to make new clothes. We could also mention actual events, facts, encounters and discussions that triggered the motivation for a certain piece and that informed its concept and its design. We could mention as well the theoretical texts (present in the collection in the form of the several quotations that we use) texts that are important for us in the understanding of our situation as persons, as women, as artists, as members of society. These are texts that are exposing our present situation in the times of global capitalism as times when life has no value in relation to capital and texts that envision possibilities of resistance and of reclaiming life.
Inspired by life constantly shifts its focus between the ideas and theory and the actual shapes of the bodies for which the clothes are made. It means constantly switching between a work which means documentation and conceptualisation and the “modest” manual work of sewing. By transforming clothing, the practical, everyday objects into concepts and then transforming these concepts into practical, familiar, everyday objects – clothes – back again, we intend to realise once again that dichotomies between body and mind, “high” (art) concepts and everyday life, theory and practice need to be constantly demolished