“Folding Clothes” is a participatory performance that creates a space for developing networks and modes of expression on the role of domesticity in the home today. This universal chore of folding provides an entry point for men, women, and children into the discussion of domestic labor. It offers opportunities to speak out and ask questions; what and who activates the domestic roles in our homes? What is the value of this kind of labor? “Folding Clothes” quite literally brought the dining room table and the laundry room right to the gallery and along with it, the presence of home, often left behind at the gallery, representing family, children, and all of the complexities that follow.
The pile of laundry consists of all kinds; work clothes, unmentionables, delicates, washcloths embroidered with phrases like “You have his smile,” dinner napkins that carry the voice of a child asking “Are we going to nuclear war?,” mismatched socks, sheets, knit blankets, children’s clothing, school spirit-wear, carefully preserved baby clothes, even a warm basket of teen clothing fresh from the dryer. It parallels the differences in how men and women use language and patterns regarding domestic acts, and how they shift ground in dialogue with one another. It gives rise to new ideas and ideologies on attitudes about work and family.