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Hussein Chalayan
Place to Passage


Tribe Art Commission2/Hussein Chalayan

Leading fashion designer Hussein Chalayan has been awarded Tribe Art Commission2. Second in an ongoing series of international art projects sponsored by the B·A·R Honda Formula 1 racing team, Tribe Art Commission2/Hussein Chalayan premiered in London at the Old Truman Brewery on Wednesday 5 November 2003, before touring internationally.

Hussein Chalayan’s acclaimed collections successfully break down the boundaries between design and fine art, resulting in some of the most memorable moments in fashion history. For this commission, he has created an interactive multiscreen installation, incorporating film, 3D computer animation and a specially composed soundtrack.
Inspired by a visit to the B·A·R Honda factory, Chalayan uses the medium of Formula 1 racing to explore the implications of speed and technology on contemporary society. With the help of a recent automotive design graduate from the Royal College of Art, Chalayan
employed 3D modelling and state-of-the-art F1 fabrication techniques to create his own visionary version of a racing car. This aerodynamic pod-like structure became the centrepiece of place to passage, the film Chalayan made with conceptual animation company, neutral.

In the film, Chalayan takes the viewer on a complex psychological journey through the contemporary urban landscapes of London and Istanbul, via the barren setting of Dungeness and an icy wilderness. As in F1 reportage, the perspective fluctuates from the objective to the subjective. At times the viewer is a mere bystander, following the
speeding ‘pod’, with its androgynous female passenger, as it pursues its relentless route around them. At other times they find themselves cocooned on the inside, the pod acting as a calm refuge for reflection. Strands of the passenger’s life begin to flash past, and we become aware of the symbolic dimension to the journey. As the pod traces a lifecycle, Chalayan examines how velocity affects our senses and memories.