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The Laundry Series / Helping

Helping: The Clothing Workshop is a participatory performance artwork with clothing. I ask participants to lend me the clothing they are wearing, so that I can clothe my naked body. As each person gives me a clothing item, I put it on and heartfully thank them. While some people lend me a couple of items, others offer me all their clothing. I eventually become physically constricted by layers of clothing. My breathing becomes laboured, my body shape enlarged, and I have difficulty moving. In essence, I profit and become uncomfortable by the volumes of clothing, while participants lose and become vulnerable through their loss of clothing. There is a pivotal moment when participants no longer wish to give their clothing, or once I cannot handle wearing any more clothing. At this point, I begin to take off the clothes one-by-one, and heartfully thank each participant as I return their item.
Helping: The Clothing Workshop pushes the boundaries of how far someone is willing to help, and at what point too much help becomes harmful. While it resonates gratitude amongst myself and participants, the piece eventually transforms into concern for helping too much. Helping: The performance artwork also plays with contrasting experiences of vulnerability and power – who has little, and who has much. There is a debrief session at the end to share experiences around these themes, and how clothing relates to other issues such as identity and material overconsumption. Helping: The Clothing Workshop belongs to a developing body of work entitled The Laundry Series, which is taking on new forms and connotations from its original photographic manifestation, Dressing, Pinning, Folding, Spinning, and Slipping. The series has expanded to performative photographs entitled Tossing, and an a audio-video installation called Dressing and the performance artworks Purging and Helping: The Clothing Workshop
Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council are gratefully acknowledged for their support of The Laundry Series.

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  2016  /  Uncategorized  /  Last Updated March 14, 2018 by tascencao  /