Suicide Fashion

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The S.U.F.I. project is developing different kinds of clothing to be used to commit suicide. All models are fully functioning. The suits are icons of the Post Digital era, and the result of a long cultural process. In this decade of the post-catastrophe it suddenly became possible to think of suicide as a phenomenon of fashion. Not the regular Parisian one, but the fashion of dying. The suits manifests – but also problematize this issue.

Inspiration of the project is the increasing instrumentalizing of the suicide as tool and weapon within regional conflicts. It is both one of the most extreme tendencies of the last years as well as a sign of the apocalyptic mood that has marked this decade. The suicide bombers are the logo of the palestine-israelian conflict. Beyond pointing to how suicide is used as political weapon, the project focus on the aesthetical effects it creates. Manifestations of this are the aesthetization of death and sociopathic behavior.

Suicide Fashion is therefore about phenomenon’s like:

  • Post-human ideals in the Post Digital era
  • Sociocultural aspects of the so-called “global culture”
  • Geo-political conflicts
  • Transparent Technologies – like smart clothing
  • The networking of technology, possibility and belief

Suicide Fashion suits:

#1 The anatomical suicide bomb
The suit is made up of plastic explosives + TNT explosive wire. The explosives are formed into belts that are strapped onto strategical positions on the body. Mainly around the joints between the big limbs. The purpose of this configuration is to use the exactly timed explosions to divide the body in even and small parts, much like a splitter bomb. These individual bodyparts serve the purpose of deadly projectiles, killing all objects within 5 to 8 meters. The Goal is to totally annihilate the body, but in a beautiful and composed manner. In this version the explosion will start under the feet, throwing the whole body upward. Then the limbs will be separeted from the main torso, thrown away in a circular, outward motion. The torso will be thrown forward – and splitt open into smaller elements – by a backpack of explosives.

#2 Evening Gown
This is a deadly fashion outfit for females. It’s designed as a beautiful evening corset with applications of precious stones, silk cloting etc. Until you start looking at it, seeing how the ornaments are really carefully disguised explosives and shrapnel. This one is inspired by the attack on Ghandi in the early nineties. Not to mention the whole mythology on deadly beautful females.

#3 Walker – a suicide corset
It kills no one else than the user itself. Placed around the waist it tightens itself a little bit for every step you take – until it is so tight that the user suffocate. The mechanism used to achieve this effect is a modified one-way, ball-bearing screwdriver. Simple, slow and efficient.

Not to forget, suicide is maybe the strongest ways to communicate your message. Suicide bombers are the F-16s of the poor. And a much more intelligent weapon.
The suits were exhibited at the Break 21 festival at the Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2002.

Suit development and realization: Siv Thorud
Mechanical design for Walker: Anders Wittusen
All photos by: Primoz Lavre and Leonora Jakovljevic

The Post Digital Manifest:
Kapelic Gallery:
Break 21:
Sucide bombs:
Read also about the Suicide Fashion II project.

To read the full description as PDF follow this link.

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