SURPLUS is a collaborative platform founded back in 2017 by Magda Buczek, it ad- dresses material and symbolic overproduction.
The main tools of SURPLUS are language and waste. Language determined by socio-economic dynamics, internet-born slang, broken English, or – as Hito Steyerl calls it, “international disco Latin”. Waste – seen as an effect of late capitalism’s excess, hoarding, circulating. Clashing these two elements blurs the line between trash and luxury and creates a surplus space to re-consume without the necessity of production. The platform fuses visual poetry, performance, activism, and hacks marketing strategies. SURPLUS morphs between mediums to optimize its target group and also to widen its potential exposure. That is why it has been featured at Fashion Week (Berlin Fashion Week 2019) and fashion magazines (Vogue, Kaltblut, Elle) but also at art galleries (Calvert 22 Foundation London, Akademie der Kuenste der Welt Koln), design festivals (Potentiale Design Festival) and museums (MOMA Warsaw, Royal Academy of Arts London) It is virusing institutions, spaces, and imagery.
The project relates to the fashion of the 1980s and ‘90s when statement t-shirts were often seen as a personal declaration. Within the SURPLUS series, Buczek places texts on the surface of old garments, leftover textiles, and waste banners and uses them as screens, carried on human bodies and planted in public space. She creates short, ephemeral, limited editions of prints, depending on the structure she currently collaborates with.
This exhibition consists of a presentation of various works from the SURPLUS scope: texts and waste mediated onto various surfaces. It investigates the politics of fashion and consumer desires while pointing to the mechanisms of the art market. The title is taken from SURPLUS* series with the subheading reverted to undermine the common definition of what an art show is.
Located on the lower floor of the building with restricted access and in the time of an ongoing exhibition of another artist presented on the street level, SURPLUS reversed refers to practices of protest occupation, squatting, and virusing more than to a traditional exhibition. Hidden from the eyes of inattentive visitors, yet teased in a window display, it plays with a marketing strategy of speak-easy, a secret, exclusive space for the selected group of audience.
The semi-fashion pieces of the questionable source are to be sculpted with construction pipes and hiking strings to create a visual and tactile overdose of confusing slogans, colors, and consumer goods, to be traded and tried out. By fitting SURPLUS garments, one can try on different views, identities, and contents printed on top of them, and reflect upon absurdities of late capitalist consumerism.