The Habitus project is organized around the theme of clothing with the aim of prompting a reflection on the consequences of the overproduction of goods and the reckless accumulation of clothing intended as consumer goods. Habitus specifically focuses on the dynamics that govern the used clothes market, which since the early 1970s has significantly contributed to the decline and the subsequent deep crisis of the local textiles industry in Nigeria.
The decision to create a collection of handmade clothes, inspired by techniques and workmanship of the fabrics in the different Venetian museums, as well as those of Nigeria,was prompted by the search for a creative response to the excessive standardization of contemporary clothing and the historical and symbolic image associated with it.
Second Hand Museum, an integral part of Habitus, is a museum installation showcasing five authentic testimonies of a possible history, in which the clothing patterns recognized and codified in the Venetian tradition are revisited by being mixed and hybridized through the use of repurposed and second hand materials.
The ability to create an “authentic fiction” also returns in the series Venetian Portraits inspired by the distinctive Venetian caprice portraits and the nineteenth-century chromatic lagoon tradition. In these photographs, the “Venetian-ness” is dressed in unusual African-style clothes, and portrayed in poses that are at times haughty while at others nonchalant, letting us imagine an upside-down world of reverse colonization.
The used clothing was donated by the charity organization Ca’ Letizia, which has long been active in the collection and redistribution of used clothing to the needy. The precious damask fabrics were kindly donated by the Rubelli company. The jewels were kindly borrowed by Jacinthe Clotilde Kondje’s Galleria African Art JCK. We would also like to thank the following individuals for their participation and contribution: Fiora Gandolfi, Antony Knight, Margherita Minguzzi, Elena Ianeselli and Jacinthe Clotilde Kondje.