After my grandmother died, there were a few pieces of her clothing that I kept just because they reminded me of her. Even a few years after she was gone, you could catch the faint scent of her perfume in the cloth. Clothing is so deeply personal, it lies close to our skin, keeps us warm and dry, carrying with it memories of moments, past lives and future hopes. Finnish installation artist Kaarin Kaikkonen embraces the influence clothing has over us in her site specific installations.
Kaikkonen’s installations began with the hanging of men’s jackets, a coping mechanism of sorts in dealing with the loss of her own father. She would eventually shift to women’s clothing in memory of her mother. Her most recent installation, though, turns her eye upon children and gender roles. Children’s clothing is strung in rows, subtly organized by color. The blues and pinks face off, yet as the lines recede, the colors fade. Perhaps a symbolic nod to how traditional gender roles have always been the “loudest voices”?
What we chose to clothe ourselves in does say something about who are. Whether we are designer label fiends or thrift store junkies, what we wear tells the world our story with one glance. Even Mr. Forager, who claims not to care about fashion, is still picky about his clothing choices! What story are your clothes telling?
You can find more of Kaarina Kaikkonen’s work on her website.
Artist found via This is Colossal. All images via their website.