Thursday, 20 May 2010

Defining an exhibition

This conversation between fashion curator, Judith Clark, psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips, and Rebecca Arnold of the Courtauld Institute discussed The concise dictionary of dress. This intervention at the V&A’s reserve collection at Blythe House is a collaboration between Clark and Phillips. The idea came from thinking what would happen if museum labels were substituted. They chose 11 words that were linked to psychoanalysis and dress, Phillips then wrote definitions for them and Clark produced the installations linking them to dress. The project aimed to establish relationships between words and the language of dress. The words and clothing are mutually illuminating although they use different languages. Although it is interesting to consider whether the information given in the definitions usurps or aids the experience of looking at the interventions. An interesting point made was that histories are stored in our bodies and in the museum store and are not classified until they are exhibited.

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