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UNISEX COUTURE COLLECTION - 2020

A SERIE OF 7 NEUTRAL ENSEMBLES - 30 METERS OF SILK EACH - VARIABLES DIMENSIONS - EDITION OF 1

Rad Hourani’s UC20 collection probes into the complex relationship between dress, power and identity. The clothing we wear is a direct reflection of who we are, and where we stand in society. Spanning centuries, royalty have set a dressing standard for their subjects to adhere to, and an unattainable standard to set themselves above others. Different cuts and textiles served, and continue to serve as socio-political markers, setting women and men, rich and poor apart. Rad Hourani creates an assortment of 7 neutral ensembles to render his vision of a world led by a united conscious structure. 

Although clothing is what allows for categorization, whether it is class or gender, Rad Hourani’s vision is one of neutrality. By using noble materials such as fine silks, velvet, or textile adorned with sequins, all made out of 30 meters of said fine materials each, the garments appear as ceremonial vestments, both alien and familiar, ancient artifact converging with visionary architectural design, intimidating by their splendor. Not unlike the royal gowns of yore, Rad Hourani’s Unisex couture collection instills a sense of intrigue and respect amongst the viewers.

Nonetheless, his vision introduces a neutral ruling class, secular and unidentifiable: the collection is created in his signature genderless anatomy that erases and encompasses both genders, accessorized with masks that conceal the identity of the wearer. By veiling all human identifiers, the ensembles present themselves as cryptic entities, powerful and transcendent. It is the lack of identity that makes the pieces all the more powerful: fear of the unknown and the incomprehensible, what is beyond human, is the mightiest tool of control.

 

ROBOT ME - 2019

SATIN SILK + FOAM - VARIABLE DIMENSIONS - EDITION OF 1

Cloth figures faceless, uncanny and anonymous. Their angular anatomy and human-likeness is reminiscent of primitive representation of humans, or, rather, of the android human-like robots that are soon to populate the earth. In either case, the robots are shaped in the likes of their maker. In creating robots, Rad Hourani redefines humanity and identity, as in to reach consciousness, creating his limitless reality rather than letting himself be created by society. The robots challenge us to question ourselves as to whether we are individually programmed or living by our own free will... 

Through color symbolism, the viewer may be tempted to attribute fabricated traits to the figures: the yellow one is playful. The purple one is a girl. The black one is mysterious. These thoughts are the fruit of our own programmation: the robots are identical blank slates, devoid of any real signifiers, reflections of our own robotic state. We are therefore marionettes to societal constructs, and letting these control every will and decision we could make, beyond our comprehension or reach. As we begin to understand this and as our perception shifts in favor of the robots, we begin to ponder whether these blank beings, unprogrammed after all as they are filled with foam and not wires, capable of being modeled into any identity, may be more liberated, and superior to our own pre-set psyche. 

 

Scaled to Rad Hourani’s height, the robots relate the viewer to their own humanity, facing them as equals. Their offsprings, half-sized replicas of the the full-size figures, nest in their arms, wrapped around themselves and each other in pastiche of a human child’s stuffed toy, as if to probe the viewer into questioning the legitimacy of having children, little robots that bear their likeness, that they will get to program in their turn. The half-sized robots are made from the textile lining the inside of the full-sized robots, as though they spawned from their maker’s entrails. Above the maker, larger than the artist, it embodies the soul and essence of its kin. These cloth sculptures contextualize our own humanity in relation to The Other, the familiarity of their plush bodies contrasting with the dooming reality of Artificial Intelligence.

DATA FLAGS - 2019

SILK - VARIABLE DIMENSIONS - EDITION OF 1

In presenting flags made out of the leftover scraps of the same materials as his Unisex Couture collection #20, Rad Hourani introduces revolutionary fervor into his ideal. Crafted from the once noble textiles, the flags stand for the masses taking back what should belong to all, the class responsible for the production of the very same textiles. Not unlike the iconic red flag, emblem of uprising against the ruling class, Rad Hourani’s flags appropriate the symbol of those in power to magnify the oppressed. Quilted into a banner rather than sewn into majestic habits, the flags seem as though they were created by a fictional united class, to brandish as their nation’s emblem. Under these banners, every individual ascends as their own ruler.

The flags are also born from Rad Hourani’s environmental concerns: they ensure that no waste resulted from his creations. All scraps are thus utilized to create artworks. This is the banner that Rad Hourani will be proud to fly starting 2020, as all his timeless production will be vegan and consistently sustainable. The patterns created within the banners are, as well, reminiscent of data graphs, bars of computerized personal information that register the contemporary state of being. It is in taking back ownership of our collected data for our own liberation rather than as a means of manipulation, and raising against environmental waste, that the human of the age of the computer can truly recover free will and uncover a new definition of luxury: consciousness.