Contest Submission

Seifenoper / Soap oper

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Type of Work: Installation

This work is conceived as a collective play with the cultural meaning of clothes and the tradition of their washing in communal places.

Clothing has probably never been just a mean of keeping away cold. In every culture it has been a mean of individual expression, a social code. And in this sense, it is also a language, a complex, playful, and colorful one.

And what had been done at a traditional wash house? Just a hygienic treatment of garments? No way! A communal wash house is truly a first social media, older than any news paper or letterpress.

Here, at the wash house communication blossomed, the language had been sharpened, but also cleaned. With my proposal I suggest to play collectively with this idea of clothing as language.

Together with the residents we’ll create patterns suitable to express Differdange’s identity. It involves paying attention to historical associations, to emotional connections and to personal experiences of what this place means.  

We’ll do  WORKSHOPS WITH RESIDENTS:

·       Colors of Differdange: a workshop where we’ll mix acrylic colors and paint little pebbles to express the place emotionally. These pebbles will be later used for the creation of patterns

·       Shaping Differdange: a workshop where the community members will be invited to bring objects and photographs to. The latter will help to find personal associations with the place. We’ll use sketching and colored pebbles for creation of “patterns of Differdange”.

·       Faces of Differdange: the artist will prepare fabrics with the patterns invented in previous workshops and drape them on a life model. Guided by the artist, residents can have a playful life drawing session. They will also be asked to bring old portrait photos as an inspiration for the artist to develop a part of the final work on.

·       The outcomes of the workshops will be shown in an EXHIBITION curated by community members and the artist.

FINAL WORK: Based on this material, the ARTIST CREATES A WORK IN CAST GLASS. The work will adopt the colors, patterns and facial features elaborated in the workshops. Based on it, 15 different works in cast glass will be created and placed in the Waschbuer (see rendering). The objects inside will be placed in water, in the washbasins. The glass objects outside will be “chatting with the sunrays. They will catch the light and send colorful splashes into inside.

Estimated time: permanent
Estimated cost: 9500

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7 Responses

  1. Superbe idée que d´impliquer les citoyens de cette manière. Ainsi on retrouvera des histoires particulières des habitants dans les différentes installations prévues. Je pense qu´en particulier les installations en verre, qui auront sans doute un effet optique changeant selon la luminosité du moment, ont le potentiel de devenir un endroit emblématique, pour le quartier, sinon pour la ville !

    1. Cher Jean-Luc, merci beaucoup pour votre commentaire. Surtout vous avez parfaitement perçu mes intentions dans ma proposition

  2. I really like the focus on Differdange’s identity, history and people in your proposal! 🙂
    Are the workshops also for kids?

  3. Dear Kat,
    Thank you for your comment.
    Yes, definitely! It is crucial that the workshops are genuinely inclusive. Kids, the youngest citizens of Differdange, will be shaping its future in a couple of years. We can also learn from them how to play and to have fun while doing serious things. Families with kids are very welcome at every stage of this project.

  4. An excellent initiative from Marina driven by a very creative project with the use of glass to materialise her ideas and her philosophy. The workshops will give access to the Differdange population to the message Marina is conveying.

  5. Dear Benoît,

    Thank you, during the workshops Colours Of Differdange, Patterns Of Differdange and Faces Of Differdange the citizens will co-create the installation and define how it will look like.
    Shared memories, associations and inspirations would be a part of this creative process.
    Later, the artist will be translating the results into glass objects for Waschbuer. The works of the citizens created during the workshops would be exhibited in a show co-curated by the community members and the artist.

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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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