Elsewear

elsewear

Project created in residence at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, August 2016

Elsewear takes Elsewhere Museum’s collection of vintage thrift as the starting point for a series of interactions based on clothing and memory. Over 25 different outfits were taken from Elsewhere’s wardrobe to be worn by the artist throughout the duration of the residency. These items of clothing were washed, mended, ironed, worn and documented on a daily basis.

The outfits sparked conversations and interviews with fellow residents, museum staff, visitors, and community members. These discussions revealed the power of clothes as everyday materials that shape our identity and mediate our encounters with the rest of the world. As a witness, a performer, and a protector within the endless process of self-fashioning, clothing can control the body as much as it can liberate it.

Selections from these conversations are compiled within the Elsewear Style Museum, a monogrammed suitcase that serves as a growing archive of clothing memories and a collaborative, multi-perspectival guidebook on style. On the third floor, the selected outfits hang on display. Suspended from the ceiling, they form a forest of garments that are dense with the memories of past wearers, the artist included. And while clothing gathers memory and meaning, clothing stories can be inscrutable, known only to their wearer. Elsewear attempts to bring these stories to light.

 

With documentation assistance from Fraser Carr Miles and Sam Stewart, and clothing care advice from Amanda Carr.

Amanda Carr wrote a bit about this project for The Women’s Room.

Go Elsewhere!

Elsewhere Museum

I’ve just started a month-long residency at Elsewhere museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. I arrived on Thursday morning and have been silently and not-so-silently squealing with glee at every moment. Elsewhere is my kind of heaven. It’s an artist/community space housed in a former thrift store, and it is absolutely chock-a-block FULL with stuff – toys, clothing, fabric, books, dishes, paper, suitcases, furniture, wood scraps, every kind of paraphernalia you can imagine. Artists come in on a regular basis and create works within the museum, using objects from the collection. I kind of can’t believe I get to be here for four weeks.

Arriving here from PEI, right on the heels of the conclusion of the River Clyde Pageant, I was close to burnt out. However, since I’ve stepped into this place, my head is overflowing with ideas…the problem is narrowing them down. Today is our project proposal day, and my proposal is centred around the collection items that grabbed my attention the quickest (first thought best thought?): the collection of vintage clothing that fills two whole rooms, floor to ceiling. I’m still formulating ideas and questions, but the plan is to use the clothes as a prompt for conversations around clothing, memory and identity with Elsewhere folks and local residents, and then find a way to create an installation space for a select number of clothing items and gathered stories and images.

It’s basically an excuse to play an elaborate game of dress up for a month.