Inspired by Life. A Timisoara-Berlin-Warsaw-Bucharest clothing collection.


H.arta is a group of three women artists, Maria Crista, Anca Gyemant and Rodica Tache. They have worked together as H.arta group since 2001, when they founded H.arta space, a non-profit space in Timisoara. H.arta is sometimes a physical space, but many times its projects take different formats, changing contexts and locations. They are interested in topics ranging from knowledge production and rewriting histories to gender issues in global capitalist times, in the context of working in various collaborations with persons and groups from different backgrounds.

Project: Inspired by Life. A Timisoara-Berlin-Warsaw-Bucharest clothing collection. 

“The clothes that are part of the Inspired by life. Timişoara-Berlin-Warsaw-Bucharest clothing collection are created, transformed and re-used starting from what is around us, in our everyday environment. We think of our environment, of the objects we come across, of the people we want to identify with, of our bodies in their most physical aspects, of the ways in which fashion and concepts of beauty influence us, etc. in order to transform clothes into vehicles for ideas. By transforming clothing – practical, everyday objects into concepts (reflecting the interactions we experience, the discussions we have, the texts we read, the ideas we exchange) and then transforming these concepts into practical, familiar, everyday objects – clothes – back again, we intend to signalise once more that dichotomies between the body and the mind, ‘high’ (art) concepts and everyday life, theory and practice need to be constantly demolished.

We use different practical methods to make visible the narratives that inform the clothes. Raw materials that we use are of a 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 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). They are important for our understanding of our situation as persons, as women, as artists, as members of the society. These are texts that demonstrate our present situation in the times of global capitalism – times when life has no value in relation to capital as well as texts that envision possibilities of resistance and of reclaiming life.

'Inspired by life', although names itself a 'collection' will 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 different pieces a sense of formal unity. Each piece that we do for the collection follows its own story, and we move from one piece to another according to the ideas that we want them to convey. Some clothes carry quotations, which are a direct reaction or response to the origin or ‘story’ of a particular item that we are using or transforming. Other pieces use clothing as a somewhat neutral surface on which carbon copied images of our (already mediated) reality are exposed and are connected to quotations that expose and explain even further the artificialness of things depicted in these images (things taken for granted such as the ‘naturalness’ of gender, for example, or the ‘normal’ disconnectedness between women working in a sweatshop and women who get to wear the clothes). Other pieces have parts kept together by zippers, parts with texts of protest and revolt, in a society where possibilities of revolt are more and more normalised, limited, absorbed and policed, and in which protest, in order to be possible, often has to take subtle forms of the quotidian. Some pieces have already taken their proper forms or we already know how to make them, others may only remain sketches and plans."

Romania Maria Crista Anca Gyemant Rodica Tache