Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Laundry As Art

I have been thinking about domestic forms of art from time to time of late. And one of the areas that has occurred to me has its own symmetry and poetry is Laundry. "Laundry ?'" I can hear you saying... "What is that possibly about ?"

Well laundry, especially when involving drying laundry on a clothesline, offers an opportunity for creating a visual installation, albeit a short-lived one (because most people will bring the laundry in before dark, at least that is what I do !). And this installation might require a bit of creative thought too, because you have to work with what you have before you (unless you go find more clothes to launder to add to your "palette").

Anyhow, I chose to use what I had in the works, which was some kitchen and table linens. And I
have been thinking about color blocks, so I did not do anything overly fussy or fanciful with sequencing of the individual items, preferring to group them into blocks of color that had some strength in numbers.

And at the end of the life of one installation a new one of disorder
was created ! I like to think that this is what the clean items want
to do--get all crumpled and tangled up, a momentary chance of
free play before they get put into their place. Eventually, the individual subjects were assembled into the orderly neatly folded pile, ready to be taken to their waiting places. And there they wait until they are chosen to be the next towel to work in the kitchen, or the placemat for some night's dinner.

When I was in Santiago in March (around the 26th), I saw another art installation involving laundry. Actually I had seen the photo of it in a newspaper while flying to Santiago (they had local papers aboard the flight, I decided to practice my Spanish reading). I loved the photo, thinking that someone had done an amazingly life like painting of the folds in the cloth. When I found this exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) in Santiago, I was very surprised to see it was a real shirt, on a real line strung across the canvas ! And the backdrop was what was painted. It is called "Entre la cordillera y el jardin", which means between the line and the garden. I am sorry not to be able to find the artist credits, which I had in hand notes I now can't find ! Looked online too and no luck. If someone knows the artist's name, please post me a comment so I can provide proper credits.

It seems I am not the only person who sees potential for art in laundry !

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