When dealing with far-reaching themes, contemporary creation has exceeded its own limits. It would seem that no theme has escaped the attention of either artists, authors or creators. Limits are always pushed further. As the action becomes more active and direct, exercise not only consists in taking a theme as an inspiration source, or, reflecting on the same. The artist leaves his workshop and enters a factory, a laboratory or a shop, or goes out on the street, or into a State office or airport, or, explores a forest or a desert. The creator strengthens his/her position in society. The artist not only creates, but now constructs, thereby being actively involved in various social processes. The formal possibilities are also brimming over, approaching one another. The aforementioned phenomena results in modes of expression which emanate from an unlimited range of artistic disciplines. Visual arts, a rubric that intrinsically integrates various specialities, easily combines with sound, and both flow freely through the stage arts, such as theatre and dance. Limits go still further, finding a dialogue with disciplines related to communication, technology and new media. Architecture, graphic and industrial design, and fashion are creative disciplines which, due to their own social and aesthetic functions, have fomented an intimate dialogue with the arts, and have managed to progress in the commitment to the society in which they operate.
In this line of work we encounter ´Exercises in Health (EIH)' by Lucía Cuba. Her project explores notions of health by means of the construction of garments, addressing the difficulties and opportunities that experience with health brings. The project suggests that fashion can serve as an instrument for the interpretation and transformation of social reality, and builds a bridge between fashion as a performance, and health as a domain of human experience and emotion.
EIH "Part 1" marks the first phase of a larger project now being undertaken, and is the result of a design process that involves fieldwork in Peru, interviews, audio-visual documentation and discourse analysis performed via the construction of garments. The result is an installation comprising of four garments which constitute a set of devices interconnected through form, function and experience. These expose the complex universe of affection, and the meanings that emerge from the body and health-related concerns. This installation was presented in October 2014 in the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam during the ‘The Future of Fashion is Now’ exhibition. More EIH project works will be undertaken during 2015, and will address other issues related to health, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Text published in Draft Magazine.