Contest Submission

Senses of the past.

Total Votes: 11

Type of Work: Sensorial multimedia installation

What if you could enter the historic wash house to travel back in time?

We envision an installation, that recreates the full sensory scape of the wash house in its most active times.

The smell of soap and moisture in the air. The sound of laundry being rubbed up against a wash board, voices chattering, interrupted by a gasp of exhaustion from the hard work.

The installation is not to romanticise the past, but to bring out the different aspects of life the site has witnessed over time. A space of coming together, social exchange, but also hard work.

A subtle yet powerful intervention of using smell and sound to recreate the scenery while the wash house itself remains mostly untouched. In the creation of the soundscape, a workshop with generations that have experienced the washing house active, as well as a research in historic sound archives is planned.

Upon finalisation the permanent installation should invite visitors in to get tangible insights of the history of washing and beyond, stimulate their imagination and raise questions to open a dialogue. Through the installation the intergenerational exchange of citizens of Differdange should be actively encouraged.

Estimated time: permanent
Estimated cost: 10200

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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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