I made an inventory of my wardrobe in 2020 which was an intervention to my conventional consumer behaviour. Usually I buy clothes from shops, wear them until I leave them in my wardrobe or throw them away. I barely give a thought for the lifecycle of clothes: where these garments come from and where they end up after they are discarded. Instead of that I made a thorough inventory of accessories, clothes, and footwear I owned at that time and weighed them one by one. Then I created an artwork based on it. This work consists of four parts: a textile work, prints, a one channel video, and Instagram posts.
Intervention I: Inventory of My Wardrobe, 2020. A textile work.
Width 495 cm. Cotton fabric and string, recycled sheet and coat hangers, wood and textile color. Installation view.
The textile work represents the owning time of clothes and the volume of my wardrobe which was altogether 275 garments. Each fabric strip represent one or more garment. The light part of the strip stands for the time when a garment has been in use, and the dark part of the strip express the time when a garment hasn't been in use anymore. In the fabric strip 10 cm equals one year as a fabric strip is a timeline. Strips are labelled with the year garments were purchased.
Intervention I: Inventory of My Wardrobe, 2020. A textile work, prints and a one channel video. Installation view.
In prints I present my garments through weight. How many grams of different materials are there? How many grams of garments were manufactured in various countries? How many grams from various manufacturers are there? I also analyze the usage and purchase of my clothes through printed pie charts. Between the prints is a one channel video in which the contents of my wardrobe are weighed. The scale, and the act of weighing are a symbolic element in the ensemble. What is actually weighed?
Instagram posts of garments in an artwork titled as Intervention I: Inventory of My Wardrobe.
Instagram posts present single garments with the detailed information and a picture. In those posts are customized hashtags, like #whomademyclothes and #whatsinmyclothes which are part of the social media campaign run by the Fashion Revolution movement. On one hand these posts are examples of what a consumer can do to urge forward sustainable fashion industry. On other hand these posts are activism that challenge clothing manufacturers for more transparent business activity.
Intervention I: Inventory of My Wardrobe was on display at my solo exhibition titled as Consumer Intervention (B-galleria, Turku) during November 2020. That exhibition was an artistic intervention to my consumption, and the beginning of becoming aware of how my consumption habits influence the world and what kind of problems are associated with it. Through my artworks, I explore my consumption habits, my beauty products and clothes, and look at myself as a part of the global market economy. I interrupt my normal consumption behavior by making an inventory of my wardrobe and by storing and washing the cotton pads I use in removing make-up. Doing otherwise moves me away from the usual ways and opens up new perspectives. What kind of a world do I help build with my consumption choices? Is it possible to act otherwise in a capitalist society, and what could be a meaningful way for me?