I always thought that we can not put limits to art as a form of expression, everyone should be free to express himself however he wants without feeling constricted by the walls of small minds. I always thought that any form of art was acceptable as long as there was someone willing to appreciate it. Although truth is that sometimes you see things that make you think “who allowed him to do such a thing? can we call this art?”. Usually we have this kind of thinking when death is the central theme of a project or somehow involved. Like, for example, with the very criticized work of Maurizio Cattelan in 2004 with his “hanged children” in Piazza XXIV Maggio in Milan or very much discussed Hirst with his diamond-studded skulls.
This time someone plays with death, or life, depending on your point of view, and does so in a rather singular way.
The artist ( ’cause I still think that fashion design is art) is a London based design student with a collection of bags and leather jackets. Not a big deal if not that the name of the project is ”Pure Human” and the leather is Alexander McQueen’s skin. Tina Gorjanc, thanks to the collection of 1992 Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims in which McQueen had sewn his own hair, had access to the designer’s DNA which allowed her to recreate his skin in a lab. To make it even more real the skin has also tattoos, moles and freckles in the exact spots where McQueen had them. In May 2016, the designer has patented the biotechnology process that allowed her to recreate McQueen skin and the project itself.
Someone can think that the project is a little disturbing, perhaps, someone will react as for the works of Hirst or Cattelan and stating that it’s totally unnatural and creepy but this young student with her project wanted to send a clear message. Gorjanc aims to bring to public attention how far luxury corporations could and are willing to go to meet the demand of a market always more attentive to exclusivity and to customizing and how easily you can have access to anybody’s genetic information.
Besides our desire (or not) to wear a jacket “of McQueen” I think Tina has given us something to think about. One more reason for me to keep thinking that we should not put limits to creativity, especially when this is food for thought.
And what about you? Would you put limits to art?