Fashion Victims and Heroes
The “Fashion Victims and Heroes” series could be considered an evolution of the Conos de Madre work, a new genre of superheroes that also hide their identity, while interacting with passerby on the streets. Again, the medium is paper, but this time, its deluxe brand shopping bags, which were obtained visiting high-end retail stores, asking them to collaborate with the project. Using simple and accesible paper craft techniques, Ochoa’s work thus seeks to incorporate traditional crafts into contemporary art.
This project focuses on face masks, which for the past two years have been part of everyday life, as they have opened a new set of questions regarding identity, life and consumerism.
During the pandemic, online shopping practices became ubiquitous, as a direct result of the lack of motivation and outdoor distractions. The dancer could not dance, the traveler could not travel, the wanderer could not wander, the builder could not build, the player could not play, the sportsman could not engage in sports, the worker could not go to his workplace, the student could not attend school, etc… So, what was left? Internet shopping made the shopper feel a rush of instant excitement. Why focus on fashion when consumerism encompasses so many things?
Consumerism and the excesses of the society of spectacle in the age of digital reproduction have been the focus of Ochoa's work since the series “Paris s’habille en bois” (Paris Dresses in Wood) done after the 2019 social upheaval (known as the "Gilets Jaunes" or "Yellow Vests"), when the Paris high-end retail stores had to protect their window displays by covering them with wood panels to avoid vandalism. On one of those sheets of plywood, in front of a boarded-up Dior retail store, a phrase read “People want Dior”, which Ochoa appropriated and literalized to portray a series of characters who want Dior.
The message is ambiguous, neither against or in favor of fashion. I admire all the effort and creative minds that come into play to produce each collection; on the other hand, we have to critically examine the labor that goes into each piece, how workers are treated, how materials are outsourced, how companies manage waste, how models are treated, and what the beauty cannons of the future will be.
How do government decisions affect fashion, and how much money should we spend in order to be part of certain walks of society?
Am I against fashion houses?
Not at all, I would be delighted to collaborate in some campaigns or collections that would change the concept and the way of producing clothes.
The world cannot be conceived as good and evil, there is always the grey area in every process, therefore, nothing is absolutely good or bad?
Some issues are considered good or bad depending on common accords, hence the existence of politics and social struggles.
Art has its place to open a dialogue about the grey areas and not about moral extremes. Living in a country like France, where the left and the right are so polarized, I feel that it is impossible not to tackle the transversality that these economic, social and political phenomena offer. This series is a work in progress, and is connected to the series "Lidl Leading the People".