June 22nd, 2012
For one night only from 7pm, concept gallery PRIMITIVE London will be transformed by Erik Hart’s site specific installation. Hart made his name via street fashion cult label Morphine Generation in 2003 – nowadays, he focuses his efforts on concept collection Factory. Primed to showcase the concept’s spring line tonight, Wonderland spoke to the visionary designer.
You are a self-taught designer. Do you feel that this has changed the way you work in comparison to other designers who studied at an institution?
I believe so. I have never approached my work as singularly or strictly as design or fashion. I have always been more interested in creating experiences and a dialogue, more than just garments. My background initially was in sound and photography. I have never drawn lines between the different disciplines I work in, whether it be installation, garments, sound, space design, photography etc. They are all of equal significance and a component to a larger proposal of aesthetics and concepts. It’s more of an evolution of a conversation.
How important do you feel the installation is in supporting and promoting your SS13 FACTORY collection?
I think of them as the same thing. They are equal. I have been doing a lot of space design lately and it has really caused me to further analyse public and private spaces and how to blur the line between the two. Also the idea of warmth, comfort and personal safety and how it is interpreted and experienced in such environments. The installation is a physical sketch of these ideas, and the garments that accompany it reference the shells of post war architectural forms in both rigid and fluid fabrications. On their own, they are simply shells and structures. When inhabited they act as protection, become mobile and offer a sense of comfort.
When putting together your exhibition at PRIMITIVE London did you at any point worry that the concepts may be too abstract for the public and that they would walk away with the wrong idea?
I never really think in these terms. This project was simply something I felt compelled to express. The lovely thing about Lui and Andrew (owners of Primitive) is that we are all of the same mindset and creative approach. We don’t draw borders between disciplines. I think of all my friends and collaborators as “creatives”. No one I know simply does one thing. In regards to whether people grasp the concept or not, it doesn’t bother me. People are free to interpret as they wish. Whether they choose to purely appreciate it on an aesthetic level, a conceptual level, or think it is shit. It’s all fine with me.
How do you see fashion and art interacting?
I can only speak of my approach. They vary depending on context. However, at their purest they are both forms of conversation with an audience. They can be the same, or completely polarised.
Any future projects that you wish to pursue?
I’m always working on various projects at once. I’m currently designing and creative directing a nightclub-performance space. I’m in the midst of publishing a collaborative art book with the young Russian artist and my girlfriend Tatiana Leshkina and also working on various creative and art direction projects for various clients. I’m always open for anything inspiring, creative and innovative. Just write me.
Words: Christabel Reed