Elisa van Joolen is interested in the stories behind our clothes. What are the social and economic structures surrounding the production of these seemingly everyday designs? What are the fashion industry’s key values and what do we as designers, consumers and critics tend to ignore?
In every edition of PORTAL, participants are asked to remove one item of clothing, lay it down on a large cloth, outline their garment with black tape and answer a series of questions regarding the origin, materials, ownership and (emotional) value. Under Van Joolen’s direction, garments with similar characteristics are linked using colour coded tape until the lines on the PORTAL cloth show a chaotic ensemble of intersecting personal stories. The end result is a collective canvas that reveals connections between and intersections of personal, economic, social, cultural and political realms.
Van Joolen’s latest publication is the result of the PORTAL 006 lesson series which she developed in partnership with De Appel and the Comenius Lyceum in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, for Refresh Amsterdam. This publication reveals connections between the personal, economic, cultural and economic values of the clothing worn by Comenius students.
You can purchase this publication here: https://www.thisiswarehouse.com/shop/2021-03-30-portal-006-reader