What would have happened if Claude Lévi-Strauss had discovered and studied a new species, a civilisation of creatures with arsenic in its makeup instead of phosphorus, like the life form found in Mono Lake, California? Would his theories, the basis of structural anthropology be different? Are behavioral patterns global or socially engineered byproducts of a specific cultural context? For Lion Blau, “IO – MATUA – KORE” is a tool for social and stylistic experimentation on the idea of being alien.
Alien, as in extraterrestrial life in pop culture or scientific research. An alien life form, with a completely different civilization, would probably use ‘garments’ and ‘accessories’ that bear symbolisms strange and uncanny to us.
Alien, as in civilizations that evolved detached from our ‘western’ world. Civilizations that may utilize strange masks or have symbolic tribal tattoos etched patterns or other permanent marks on their body. Civilizations like the Maori who worship Io Matua Kore as their supreme god.
Alien could even be the outcast of our post enlightenment society. Marginalized groups with codes of behavior and dressing completely different from mainstream, either by choice or due to the circumstances.
Lion Blau draws inspiration from the various conceptions of being alien in creating a collection of garments and accessories/prosthetics that explores differentiation within the context of fashion design.
“IO – MATUA – KORE” is inspired by alien oceanic societies. It started with newly discovered life in our deep ocean, marianna trench, where organisms live without oxygen and sunlight, so the foundation of what “life” actually is had to be completely rewritten. After this discovery, the possibility of alien life forms became much higher. Right now the highest possibility of alien life lies in Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Huge ice crust with an ocean of approx. 90 km depth. “IO-MATUA-KORE” is an image of how those alien life forms on Europa could look like, and what there society is based on, without modern human enlightenment, connected to the ancient civilizations of the Earth. Civilians, Warriors, Priests, Emperor and Empress”