“We have a very personal and intimate relationship with our clothes. Why not use them as screen for poetry?” Magda Buczek
SURPLUS was founded in June 2017 by artist Magda Buczek and since then SURPLUS has quickly expanded into various areas of art, fashion, print, and performance. The sharp, politically provocative and zero waste agenda of the brand has placed SURPLUS among the front runners of the Polish creative scene.
SURPLUS focuses on overproduction – from the fashion industry to the excess of ideas, texts and discourses in art.
The project relates to the fashion of the ‘80s and ‘90s when statement t-shirts were often seen as a personal declaration. Wearing one in the public space was an act of political gesture. SURPLUS creates a new meaning without the necessity of production and can be consumed again. Customers become performers of SURPLUS poetry in public space.
How did you come up with the concept for Surplus Project and what is the goal?
The concept is a natural reaction for the excess, overflow of goods, needs, things and data. Help, we are sinking in our own production!
We wanted to create cool stuff out of waste: fashion and slogans. And it looks like we did it.
The goal is to highlight the absurdity of our fantasies fuelled by capitalistic persuasion. And, of course, to have fun.
What made you choose fashion as a platform/ channel for your artistic statements?
I chose fashion because it is the most democratic visual medium: you do not have to be an expert in modern art to like it. The street is the most down-to-earth scene of artistic projects. Also, the fabric of the garment is close to human skin, we have a very personal and intimate relationship with our clothes. Why not use them as screens for poetryor political statements in a public space then?
Which causes do you want to bring attention to and why?
SURPLUS is about overproduction, both material and symbolic. So we point out that we do not have to produce more entities than we really need. Even our needs are overproduced. As we say: "life is too short to spend money on new clothes". Spend it for something that really enhances your life. SURPLUS is also sharing playfull subversive poetic textswithout a direct ecological message. We try to look at the brand as a non-binary critical playground of language.
You use recycled garments for your collections. Do ever produce anything from new or re you planning to do that at some point?
We only use things that have been already produced - we exercise in waste ;-). Recently we have made tote shopping bags out of rare vintage fabrics, old beddings, second-hand curtains, and collected material. Yummie!
How do you think that art and fashion can work together?
Fashion IS art, no division needed here. Unless we think about fast fashion, quickly made by underpaid workers for the sake of big brands selling objects we do not really need to feel happy.