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The Laundry Series / Dressing, Pinning, Folding, Spinning, Slipping

Dressing, Pinning, Folding, Spinning and Slipping are cohesive sets of photographic installations deriving from my original explorations with laundry. I photograph myself in various interactions with clothing. Each set explores a growing repertoire of body language associated with struggles with clothing, domestic labour and folk rituals. Second-long automated exposures capture unnoticed and continuously dissipating moments between clothing and the human body – moments known only to the body and the clothing themselves. The moments range from sensual and nostalgic, to strenuous and dramatic. Each set consists of a large number of closely spaced images to be displayed on a wall in narrative order, in configurations that work with the installation space (in rows or in a single row, etc.).

The following sets belong 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.




In Dressing, I capture myself through second-long automated exposures, during rapid and frantic stages of dressing and undressing, with multiple layers of dirty laundry. While the works push against fashion, femininity and beauty norms, they also capture the unnoticed fleeting relationships between clothing and the human body. Dressing hovers between sensual play infused with femininity, and frantic dances with the clothing to diffuse that very identity.






Pinning consists of photographs of myself pinning washed laundry and then pulling them back off the clothes line. These were performed and shot in my mother’s backyard.





Folding is made up of images of myself folding and unfolding freshly washed laundry. I took these photos in the garden courtyard of my apartment residence.





Spinning was inspired by Azorean folklore dancing, which I participated in as a teenager. These traditional dances are performed at religious and community festivals across the Azorean islands. The women’s wide skirts are embellished with various patterns, colours and embroideries. Over top is an apron and beneath is an underskirt. As the women spin faster, the skirts rise up at instances, reaching above the knees and sometimes to mid-thigh level. For Spinning, I tied bundles of clothing to my waist. I play with the potential of spinning as an exertive and somewhat seductive act.





In Slipping (developing work, with more to come), I take selfies with my camera phone inside my clothing as I dress. The camera captures tactile and visual sensations, movements and moods that exist within one’s inner experiences – beneath clothing. Slipping goes beyond the intimacy of clothing and skin, to seeing oneself from the inside-out. It acts as an alternative to the superficial bodies portrayed in fashion. Soft and transparent images glow from the outside-in. Appearing womb-like, perhaps Slipping is a performative and visual incubator of self-love. These images will be monumental-size prints, in the same spirit as colourfield paintings. 


  2014  /  photography  /  Last Updated August 26, 2018 by tascencao  /