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sad mascots for the broken people

social performance for the suburbs of tallinn

metal, wool'

photos by elo vahtrik


Apathetic mascots are standing still and applauding for the apathetic people. If they are not dead yet, they are still standing and still applauding.

The fairytale of the ugly duckling never dies. 


In the collection Sad mascots for the broken people questions of empathy, tolerance and care will rise through the lenses of the concept of extended street fashion.The collection is influenced by conflicts of the public space, fashions’ inability to adequately react and reflect on the wide spectrum of different lives we are living in, and by the broken power structures that connect them both. True melancholy with a slight smile - it seems like we, humans, as individuals and collective, are suffering from large-scale childhood trauma. 


How and where we can see ourselves from a distance and understand we are just passersby. Passersby who happen to pass by this place all at the same time unit. How fast we set hierarchies and how prone we are to purely philosophise. The work is addressing the norms of belonging, and asks who has the power. Mainly: who has the access to the power?

The work emphatically represents everyday moments, being both depressive and jovial, longing and dreaming, fighting and letting go. One of the main symbols of the collection is the mascot. Mascots are supposed to be a sign of luck, they should rejoice and connect. They categorically deny everything that is bad, focusing strictly on the positive, taking it to the extremes and throwing peanuts enthusiastically into our face. One peanut, two peanuts, three! We do not have any troubles! 


In the work the mascots are broken, therefore dysfunctional. They cannot run, move, applaud, rather they insist on standing still and taking the predetermined form. By distorting and altering human bodies, active subjects are turned into dysfunctional objects. Mascots that normally act loud, outwardly and overly extroverted, are now worn by the people who are encapsulated inside of the contrastingly captivating forms. Those people are almost imprisoned, yet, technically, on paper, they have an opportunity to escape. 


The carcasses are welded from the metal and covered with coloured wool in order to create dysfunctional forms. The bright-coloured palette is influenced by the colours of the commercial mascots, mainly used to advertise products by capitalist companies and spur masculine sweaty sports teams. The shapes are inspired by the feeling of the distressing situations the works represent: from segregation to alcoholism, gender inequality to loneliness: everything we see, and yet, successfully ignore. 


The collection will be created in the form of the social opera, including additional mediums and ways for presenting the work: a social endurance performance in five chapters will be carried out in the suburbs of Tallinn. The works will be presented on the streets of the suburbs over a fixed time period in the form of still life, not asking anyone to join or interact, giving a possibility to look away or come closer, including the sound as a main communicative tool. The public space, supposedly a democratic space, is not specifically looked upon as an urban space, a criticism of it, rather than a place where people perform without performing -  a playground full of potential. 


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