For an intellectual collective who make casual reference to obscure German philosophers, the playground cuss ‘Dead Meat’ is an odd choice of name. But then they are an odd bunch.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that Dead Meat are an Italian fashion and art collective living between Modena and Milan who make graphics, comics, T-shirts and clothing collections. Scratch the surface however, and you find a group of individuals whose rationale is as fiercely intellectual as Warhol’s Factory was anti-intellectual, with a lot of shared ground in between. Conceived because “Berlusconi became the PM for the second time and we felt there was a big problem with our country”, Dead Meat has nineteen members, although listed among these are honoraries Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Jude Law. The collective spans from graphic designer Vera to “the Offer Sacrifice to the God Werewolf”, Umberto.
Founder of the group, Giovanni De Pol cites their inspirations as “Nietzsche, Kurt Cobain poetry, Star Wars, Japanese videogames, Facebook, Blake and Eddie Murphy”, continuing “According to Marcuse, ideologies have died in the last century. We now live in a liquid world where we can just watch, think and criticise.” Out of all this intellectualism comes accessible artworks and clothing collections. Following several seasons of menswear, Dead Meat’s debut womenswear collection, designed by Umberto Sannino (the sacrifice werewolf one), showed at Milan Fashion Week last year for spring/summer 11. Directed, designed, styled and photographed by various members of the group, the collection features graphically printed mini dresses, hot pants and T-shirts in 60s cuts, elegantly realised with delicate white lace crocheting and knitting.
Culturally and artistically charged, Dead Meat challenges the very idea of fashion; even searching for their website tests your guts, with Google answering your URL request: ‘This site is listed as suspicious’.