The use of clothing in Naiza Khan’s work began as a strategy to explore the emotional content of the body through attire. Lingerie, armour, straight jackets, and other imagined pieces of attire become multiple identities or personae. These attire-objects address contemporary anxieties in a changing world, at a time when ideas about the “self” seem unstable and rapidly shifting.
The photographs New Clothes for the Emperor are produced in collaboration with artist Samar Zia, who dons the objects to create new meanings for the garments.
They explore notions of control and power, as something embodied through the act of wearing the garment. In these images, the sense of “control” versus the sense of “abandon” is quite explicit.