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Nobody was dirty 20011-12'
unwashed denim
Media Release • 8 Mar 12

Nobody was Dirty

As part of its innovative and diverse program of exhibitions and events, NGV Studio is hosting a rather unusual installation titled Nobody was Dirty. Curated by Melbourne sustainable fashion researcher, Tullia Jack, this display is both an olfactory experience and a creative installation.

Involving familiar pieces of clothing that have been the subject of a natural but not so common process, the project sees these items artistically transmogrified into unlikely new forms.  The installation dramatically re-contextualises worn jeans to bring private smells into the public domain.

Nobody was Dirty is an extension of Jack’s research exploring everyday cleaning rituals.  Engaging thirty people to wear the same pair of jeans for three months without washing them, the project sought to understand more about what motivates people to wash; exploring and pushing social norms around cleanliness.  Laundry practices consume water and energy but are based, Jack thinks, not on scientific sanitation standards, but cultural constructs that self-enforce sterilised and germophobic mindsets. 

Tullia Jack, Guest Curator and sustainable fashion researcher said: “Exploring habitual resource consumption through real people caring for jeans, without traditional laundering, has provided insight into the way cultural norms shape social practices.  I’m excited to be injecting this knowledge back into the public domain, enabling people to make discerning choices about frequency of washing and conserving energy, water and chemicals in the process.”

Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, NGV said: “Jack has created an installation of one of the world’s most loved fashion items – denim jeans. This intriguing installation of unwashed jeans should spark very interesting conversations amongst visitors to NGV Studio.”

Since opening, Melburnians have embraced NGV Studio by showing their support both in presence by visiting the space at all hours of the day, and online via Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Located at the corner of The Atrium and adjacent to NGV Kids Corner at Federation Square, NGV Studio presents a program of fresh and lively exhibitions, installations and events that actively involves many of Melbourne’s cultural activities.

NGV Studio is a new exhibition space dedicated to art in action. This space encourages innovation and experimentation in content, context, interpretation and display.

The jeans are displayed as part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program at NGV Studio where they will be engaging with the noses of visitors.

NGV Studio is located at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square. Open Sun–Wed, 10am–5pm and Thu–Sat, 10am–10pm. Free entry.

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