Contest Submission

Laundry Archives

Total Votes: 4

Type of Work: sculpture

Four oversized clothing labels seem to be stitched to the floor with their loose ends waving in the wind in front of the former washhouse. The sculptural work is made out of casted aluminum stained with a pattern of handwritten text, drawn washing symbols and textile prints.

The washhouses were historically reserved to women only. They were public spaces where men were not allowed and women would meet weekly to wash the laundry. It was a space where women exchanged information and spoke freely amongst each other. The work was hard due to the bent position, cold and humidity. In the washhouses, intimacy was exposed to everyone who could interpret textile quality, stains, mendings, smells and patches. The laundry was a testimony of the organization of one’s household and social differences. The washhouses witnessed the women’s hands, washing and cleaning the traces from their most intimate domestic stories.

I want to make a monument bringing together oral collective stories, ephemeral traces and actions. In a preparatory phase to the making of the sculpture, I will organize workshops / group conversations between women from different generations from Differdange. Key subjects are safe spaces, informal knowledge, collective work, intimacy and care work.

Transcriptions of these conversations will be written on the lableformed sculptures amongst the drawings and prints. I will form a patchwork of overlapping stories throughout time in Differdange that functions as a form of representation of silenced voices and empowerment. The sculptures relocate intimacy and domesticity into the public space and thus attempts to radicalize and reclaim it. In so doing, the body is positioned as a carrier of memory and as a powerful site for knowledge production and transition.

Estimated time: permanent
Estimated cost: 15000

Share this Page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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...
Related Space

Beim Waschbuer