In 2008, German artist Menja Stevenson embarked on “Bustour“, a brilliant project in which she created hand-sewn outfits out of the same material as public transportation seats. While sitting, Stevenson practically blended into the seat, but upon standing, she often received a few quizzical looks. In an interview with the BBC, Stevenson explained from where the idea came.
For many years I had to take the bus to the academy where I studied art. Such a pattern, like a lot of everyday things, imprints itself into our memory unconsciously without being actually perceived. …Through my intervention the beholder (or passenger) becomes aware of the ‘invisible’ fabric.” In her hand-sewn clothes, she was camouflaged in her seat, but paradoxically became even more visible. “This is what I had in mind; I wanted to get the unseen seen. These fabrics say a lot about perception and awareness. …Many people aren’t aware of many things. If you think that people accept this ugliness of fabrics, buildings, public spaces, etc., then you’re probably mistaken; it’s just that they’re not conscious of it. On the other hand, the people who are in charge of designing such things should increase their awareness of them; it is a major responsibility to put these things on display.