mounted photograph: 11in x 14in; cotton dishtowel: 6in x 14in
Week is an installation featured in the New Work exhibition at the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from December 12, 2008 to January 10, 2009.
Week is an installation of a series of seven digital self-portrait photographs and seven hand-embroidered organic cotton flour sack dishtowels. I am interested in how craft and household maintenance are both examples of work traditionally performed by female hands. Specifically, Week is inspired by vintage embroidered flour sack dishtowels that portray a still image of a woman performing a ritualistic task that corresponded to a specific day of the week.
Monday is Laundry. Tuesday is Ironing. Wednesday is Sewing. Thursday is Grocery Shopping. Friday is Cleaning. Saturday is Baking. Sunday is the Day of Rest.
Often, the woman embroidered on the dishtowel is faceless. Week investigates the gaze of the woman (myself) performing each task and the towel as art object its function ending simply as an artifact of time spent beautifying a towel meant to assist in her (my) housework. Week views this specific icon of the American housewife through the lens of a modern woman stuck inside a cycle, rooted in inescapable tradition.