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Museum of Smothered Selves - in commemoration of interrupted lives
We all have underused garments in our closets, or forgotten in the back of drawers, which haven’t been worn for one reason or the other. Yet most of these unused clothes are full of expectations, meanings and dreams. They are unwritten memoirs of lost possible selves. Why did this self not come into bloom? What stifled the emergence and happiness of this dressed identity? Or what held us back from nurturing this promising facets of our dreams?
The Museum of Smothered Selves (The MoSS) creates and collects monuments honoring unrealized and interrupted lives. It is not about worn stories, but about the unworn stories. Stories that never fully got the chance to engage in the lives they imagined for themselves. Selves that could have been; the shell has hung ready for this possible life, yet still remains unused.
The monuments at the MoSS are silent memoirs to the dressed stories that died in infancy, or the unheroic deaths of oblivion. The museum pays respect to their neglected presence, and the collection consists of an assortment ofunmarked tombs to uanonymous yet apprehended selves. Haunting this necropolis of neglected styles, a visitor will find dreamed up selves that fell victim to context, circumstance or cowardice. At this memorial yard, we remember the adorned beings who stumbled in their tracks and never walked the earth.
On a more abstract level, the MoSS examines the dynamics of rejection in the realm of dress. What are the dynamics of social regulation which stifles the emergence of many of our desired selves and expression. They may not have been actively snubbed by our peers, but they still did not "feel right." Why is that? How do we oursleves restrain our dressed dreams through aesthetic self-regulation and stifled aspirations.
By manifesting rejection of certain garments the museum puts light to the people and peers who are part of the micro-regulation of our selves, and how our rejected selves are connected to our rejected clothes. We pay respect to the forsaken beings draped in in discarded dreams. A tomb to the unknown self. The beings we could have been: “A self known only unto God.”
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model 3: A tomb to the unpainted nails (cardboard and nail polish)

 


drawing 3: Monument to the unused perfume (ink and water on vellum)

 


drawing 9: Monument to the just-a-bit-too-much choker (ink and water on vellum)

 


form collecting stories of unfulfilled aspirations from the wardrobes of participants and vistiors to the museum