Assistant Professor Daniel Zieliński
Studio of Product Design (No. 7)
In the modern world, as a result of the existence of numerous, ever-multiplying
convergent realities, we experience the need to redefine many social relationships.
Anna Żylińska’s project results from this need, it focuses attention on the relationship
between the majority and a part of society which has been isolated from it
– prisoners. The resulting project is strong in content, but controversial. The author
assumes a utopian system in which prisoners live within society, but are remotely
supervised, and foremost – clearly marked as different. The basic medium
of the project is an outfit – a uniform, the features of which reflect the needs related
to functioning of the people understood by society to be prisoners. The author
offers elastic overalls in a rarely seen, unattractive rusty colour. Tight clothes
mercilessly expose nearly all the anatomic features – according to the author,
this is important not only for the comfort of the person wearing the garments, but
primarily for the sense of security of the people who encounter the prisoners.
This is because under such an outfit one cannot hide anything dangerous.
The uniforms are equipped with properly protected, active emblems made from
e-paper, documenting and indicating the status of the convict, like military ranks.
Some of the information is clear to all. Some more information, available only
to authorised services, is supposed to further enhance supervision and ensure
security. The author does not avoid more controversial solutions. Between the legs
she sews elastic membranes, the aim of which is to limit the ability to run fast.
She tells them to wear bonnets. For colder days she offers them overcoats in the form
of transparent plastic raincoats and jackets, through which one can see the basic,
reddish outfits with emblems. She does not care too much for the comfort
of the prisoners, assuming that their outfits should be practical primarily from
the point of view of the public, and only secondarily – for the users’ benefit.
Anna Żylińska’s project contains many apparent and real contradictions. She releases
in order to humiliate. She complicates in order to improve. She unifies in order
to mark out. It is not a realistic project but definitely a project which should inspire
reflection on the current condition of certain social relationships.
B. 1986, studied at the Faculty of Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
(2006–2011). She works predominantly in the field of applied graphics.