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The project formed at AIR WRO residency and resulted in the exhibition @Tetno, Wroclaw, PL in November 2018.

The residency was supported by
Valletta18 foundation, Arts council Malta and AirWRO.


Textile Memory looks at garments as containers of personal memory. Clothes are vessels that simultaneously conceal and reveal the bodies that pass through them; framing and presenting the body at times of prosperity or poverty, sheltering the body during times of change. Fabric, its origins and its social context, can reveal personal stories at moments in time.

This project considers garments as a weave of personal and collective memory, following diachronic threads of displacement, instability, political oppression; of searching for a new home, through times of recovery.The project is also interested in garments that have multiple bodies passing through them: the discarded shells in second-hand shops, do they have a memory of overlapping usage?


Textile memory (2018)

Exhibition documentation at Tętno, Wrocław, PL
(photos by AirWRO)


The project was shaped through a number of interviews with residents of Wroclaw of various age about they relationship to clothes. Activists, fashion bloggers, residents and artists shared their stories with me over the course of four months. 

In the present time of booming fast fashion, do temporary clothes create a short-lived memory? The garments that the interviewees speak about are mainly created out of lasting material, a well-made container to live in and to live with. Having a memory container that is short termed, temporary, designed to be replaced, is there time to make any memories in them? Is there a sense of longing for a perfect garment that did not last past 20 washes?


Considering fabric innovation and wearables, I have looked into smart fabrics and smart wearables and their ability to preserve memories as data containers that they are sharing with interested corporations without control. The future memories of movement and quantifiable data will be preserved alright but will it hinder or enhance the personal relationship to the garments? 


HD 1':52''

© Letta Shtohryn 2023
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