Contest Submission

Clean Conscience

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Type of Work: Installation & Series of events

BEIM WASCHBUER – new name of the space to be decided by the citizens and community

“Clean clothes are an important asset of a modern society.” What about a clean conscience?

MY CONCEPT

Installation & series of events.

The space will encourage discussions about the “dirts” of the modern world, address the issues that people are aware of but feel uncomfortable talking about. This historical building used to be a place where women came to do the laundry, have discussions while doing it, enjoy each other’s company and catch up on latest news in town. Now it would still be a place to bring people together, but on a deeper level – to reflect, discuss, educate each other and make this world a better place. Come in and look into yourself. Kneel on the old, crumbling, concrete step that those women used to kneel on while washing the sheets. Look down the well and see yourself in a deep, blue tinted mirror. Wash your thoughts, reflect. Share your thoughts with others. Start conversations that will change the society and the world.

During events, the words (topics) can be written on the fabric or t-shirts and once discussed the participants could wash the fabrics/t-shirts together using a simple steel pot. The fabrics will never be fully clean – they will act as a reminder of the discussed topic, and will hang on a brass rod or be wrapped on the rotating rod of the well.

DESIGN

The back wall and concrete wells will be filled with deep blue tinted mirror – like the water used to fill them in the past – imitating the blue color and reflectiveness. Large mirror on the wall will display a neon sign with the name of the space decided by the community and residents. The neon sign is supposed to catch your attention, make you stop and read / think / act. My intervention is a call for action – whether it’s changing the world or looking deeper into yourself. I’ve deliberately kept the existing textures exposed in the rest of the space – it is important to respect the building and only add to it, not replace and cover as it would lose its soul. I like incorporating nature into my designs, as it affects our wellbeing and can enhance the feeling of community – I would love citizens of Differdange to choose, plant and look after the ivy (or other plant). They will be responsible for breathing life into this forgotten space. The ivy will crawl up the simple chicken wire that will strengthen the crumbling walls, which can symbolise the connection between ‘right now’ and ‘then’. Citizens would also build the planters for the plants on both sides of the space. Well will symbolise washing the sheets and will be made of brass. A brass frame for drying t-shirts can replace a well if that is the chosen option. I decided to use brass as it will age beautifully to fit in with the rest of the space.    

Estimated time: permanent
Estimated cost: 12,500€

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4 Responses

  1. Interesting idea to wash your soul, it can’t hurt, that’s for sure! 🤪😇
    I have the feeling that this proposal mixes some ideas already proposed in the contest, too bad… As for the plants, I doubt they could grow in such a dim space?
    I could see a wash house where video could be projected for movie screenings, and a water misting system to the outside.

    1. Hi Maria, thank you for your comment! I’m not sure how my concept uses other concepts, they’re all very different approaches… And you should upload your idea with the movie screenings etc.
      Regarding the plants, English ivy grows in very low sunlight conditions, but this is a part of the challenge for residents to research plants together, decide which one they would like to plant and then look after it together.

  2. Dear Kasia,

    I really love the mental and artistic depth of your installation – and I also do not feel it interfers with other concepts in this project.

    Two thoughts:

    One
    I do not believe that people start “deep talks” by themselves so I would love to hear a bit more how you would activate and moderate such discussion e.g. by inviting interesting people to have a talk and discussion on that place . To involve the people of Differdange I could also imagine to have a literature contest around the subject of “dirt” and to have the winner lectures in your location.

    Two
    I feel the “dirt” subject is strong enough and would concentrate the whole concept and all actions to this ONE theme. IMO the ivy just distracts the pureness of the idea. If you want to decorate the walls the bleached t-shirts from the washing-sessions would be a decorative opition to do so, no?

    All the Best, Conradin

  3. Hi Kasia,

    I am a huge Fan of this idea! Great to see this fantastic conept.

    All the best,
    Lisa

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Related Contest Briefing
Clean clothes are an important asset of a modern society. While today thousands of washing machines do their job spread all over town, once the act of washing clothes was an important public event. Mainly women gathered in washing houses even up to the seventies of the last century to wash the clothes for their families – and of course to chat about the latest news in town. The person of the “wash woman” is so archaic that she still lives in our memories and in childrens songs although the chatting today takes more and more place in the digital...
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