Cross Stitch

On the fashion ramp,Varun Sardana is known as a modernist with an arty message.

Written by Vandana Kalra | Published: February 23, 2012 3:59:14 am

Designers and artists walk the fine line between art and fashion in an upcoming show

On the fashion ramp,Varun Sardana is known as a modernist with an arty message. He seemed to know too well that his kind of clothes and ideas did not have a thriving market,yet,in India but he was unafraid. Now,as he makes his debut in the world of fine art at Khoj Studios,the fashion designer promises to unveil creative aspects about himself that have remained private till now.

The medium is a mixed media collage of photographs compiled from various publications. Giving finishing touches to this work,titled Photo State,Sardana says,“In fashion,disappearing from the pubic gaze is as good as being dead. But,in the last one year,I have kept myself out of that public space to understand what the world of fashion was doing to me as an individual. Now,as I take steps back into that world again,I have to first exorcise many aspects of that old Varun. My work seeks to explore these aspects of what it means to pass away — no longer live and be bound by the rules of the fashion world.”

He is one of the five participants of the month-long residency programme at Khoj,an arts organisation based in Khirki Extension. The residency aims at blurring the boundaries between the worlds of art and fashion. “They are similar processes,” says Gayatri Uppal,co-curator at Khoj. Sardana and Norwegian fashion designer Julie Skarland were roped in from Delhi for the programme,Andy Yen flew in from Taiwan,Faseeh Saleem was shortlisted from Pakistan and Archana Hande travelled from Mumbai. Radhika Bhalla was the critic-in-residence.

The artwork will go on display from February 24. If in her installation Copy Masterji,Hande explores the practice of plagiarism,Julie Skarland showcases sketches from her Spring-Summer 2012 collection in a brochure,a video titled The Collection,and inside matchboxes.

Faseeh Saleem questions the hourglass definition of beauty in his installation 36’’ 26’’ 36’’,which uses mannequins to satirically represent of the perfect body. Accompanying the Lahore-based designer’s knitted tube-like installation are photographs that denote how fashion can be reinterpreted as “not being about a perfect shape”. The medium of the garment-like installation is elastic,symbolic of the fact that it is not easy to conform to the stereotype of a perfect body shape. Art commenting on fashion? “Over the years,fashion itself has evolved into an art,” says Sardana.

The exhibition at Khoj Studios is on till March 3. Contact: 65655873.

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