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Dirty Washing - The Hidden Language of Soap Powder Boxes

Gamman, Lorraine and O'Mara, Séan (2001) Dirty Washing - The Hidden Language of Soap Powder Boxes. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Gamman, Lorraine and O'Mara, Séan

I co-curated (50%) the 'Dirty Washing' exhibition at Design Museum, London, supported by an AHRC award. The exhibition focussed on ‘dirt’ as metaphor to analyse the repressed, de-humanising narratives of soap powder, and expose hidden languages of imperialism and colonialism.

The exhibition featured soap powder box displays, graphic agitations, curated objects and new product innovation. The curation explored the design of soap powder packaging (1860-2001), identifying how it had been influenced by avant-garde art movements and popular forms such as comics and advertising, foregrounding the cultural issues raised by invocation of sanitised dreams about hygiene, security, purity and lifestyle. I co-created poster exhibits to highlight gender fantasies, racist and sexist distinctions to communicate research findings about soapboxes, based on the application of theories from psychoanalysis and semiotics. The exhibition catalogue that I co-edited (50%) commissioned scholars Judith Williamson and Mark Jenner, journalists Suzanne Moore, Deborah Orr and Will Self to write on similar themes, complementing our introduction and article (with O’Mara 50/50%).

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Research Centres/Networks > Design Against Crime at the Innovation Centre (DAC)
Date: 31 July 2001
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Related Websites: http://www.omaraspace.com/archive/flake/dirty_washing.pdf
Event Location: The Design Museum, London
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Design Museum, London.31 July 20012 September 2001
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:02
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2014 10:54
Item ID: 1210
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1210

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