Hana Zeqa specialises in the research and design of wearable technology. Her focus lies on the capacity of costumes and clothing to communicate shifting states of mind and affect. Organic: Extimorph evolved out of the designer’s research on the physiological expressions of strong emotions.
Zeqa was specifically interested in negative – and frequently repressed – affects related to traumatic experience, such as stress and anxiety. In the resulting work, she explores how to bring such pervasive, isolating feelings to the surface of the body, to the exterior of the self.
Using motor sensors to hypothetically detect stress stimuli in various parts of the body, her costume centres on the chest: the seat of fear. Visually referencing an expanding and contracting ribcage and a rapidly beating heart, the garment stimulates the expression, sharing and release of emotion. Wearers willingly expose their vulnerability as a condition of catharsis, of healing and humanity.
Hana Zeqa (1988, RKS) has always been drawn to the idea of telling stories through clothes. Through her work, Zeqa positions clothes as a tool for communication and manifestation; a way to incorporate everything from music to dance, history, psychology, emotions and drama into a visual context.
Zeqa is drawn to the unconventional side of design. By adding technology to a garment, she extends its possibility, making the item able to express a function, transformation and interaction. In particular, she is interested in when this transformation imitates internal or organic processes. Her work inspires a deeper and more introspective analysis and observation of feelings, experiences and surroundings. This enables her garments to ‘speak’ for themselves and be relatable as more than objects.
Hana Zeqa (born 1988 in Prishtina, lives in Prishtina)
Costume and performance video, 1.43 min.
Courtesy of the artist and made possible with the support of Culture for Change
Sorry about the technicals – Mette Sterre, Hana Zeqa and Catherine Nichols in conversation with Donjetë Murati
● Centre for Narrative Practice