Self – Help – Shirts is a collection of existing garments, gathered from various fashion brands and thrift shops, with texts on them from an emotional realm. Arranged on clothing racks, the texts, normally easily overlooked, can be attentively read.
Words on clothes, such as names of places, bands or brands are a common phenomenon. However, lately there is a strong presence garments carrying emotional expressions. It is easy to encounter words like EMOTIONAL, FEELINGS ARE FACTS, UNREALITY, LOVER NOT A FIGHTER on garments. Or to find children’s garments with expressions such as ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN. These are expressions that address or represent a state of mind, an attitude; they are loaded with feeling; they elevate subjectivity over fact, the individual over the collective and can be situated in a neo-liberal self-help culture. Spelled out on garments, to be worn and displayed on bodies, these expressions are political and economic.
As part of the research What to buy for the fashion-focused reader in your life these garments bring the role of emotion, experience and the neo-liberal self-help culture in fashion to the surface.
Read more here: Self – Help – Shirts, A Lexicon for an Economy of Emotions.
This work has been on show at, and supported by Hordaland Kunstsenter (Bergen, Norway)
With support from the Creative Industries Fund.