On the tightrope

At first sight, Lisu Vega’s activity is divided into two large work centers. On one side the design of clothes and on the other one, its sculptures and installations made with ropes. However, when viewed carefully, there are very fluid crossings between the two processes, at the base of which there is always a concern for the recycling of materials and sustainability. Another aspect common to design and artwork is its spontaneity and experimental character. Whether as a functional object or as an artistic device, her work with fabrics, ropes and images refers to the body, identity and memory.

However, the relationship between art and fashion constitutes a point of extreme tension in her proposal. On the side, there is the question of definitions: what is art? What is fashion? In the art world, fashion prejudice persists as something frivolous and short-lived. From the field of fashion, prejudices are manifested before a “rare” product that lacks “ornaments” and does not attach to the precepts of “haute couture.”

They are unique pieces that try to say something; that arises from a narrative that although it originates from the idea of the body, they do not follow a “pattern”. It is about the dress as a language of cultural differentiation and not as a uniforming element. Wearing or appreciating a piece by Lisu Vega does not imply being fashionable but recognizing a space of subjective and political distinction. After all, fashion as an industry based on obsolescence is not the same as fashion as a cultural experience

Both on the catwalk and in the showroom, her proposal tries to capture personal consultations and experiences to share, linked to everyday anxieties, ancestral myths, environmental challenges or political problems. Her work speaks of simple things like “what clothes to wear” and complex issues like “what to do about this or that.”

For Vega the rope has so many different meanings. When used in a necklace it works like a “hug”, when used for a dress acquires the consistency of a “second skin”, when used in sculpture or installation it can be an object, a root or a phytomorphic cavern. Seen this way, the rope is part of a language that serves to “draw” spaces, to “gather” inert organisms and bodies, to “weave” connections and also to “tie” memories. In any case, the artist prefers the material dominates and dictates the way. According to her, “working with ropes is a process of strength and caresses.”

By Félix Suazo.
Art Critic