Inside Out or The Countries We Carry
A project by Constança Saraiva with the neighbourhood of Campo de Ourique, in partnership with Roulote – Projectos Artísticos
“I have been thinking about the countries we carry with us. In a literal sense – our jackets, trousers and shirts come mostly from afar. I have been quite interested in the maps created by this variety of countries. What are the maps of our closets and of our drawers? What is the map drawn by the textile industry, globalization, capitalism or precarious labour? What is our map of today?
After collecting for some time the labels of my own clothes, I became fascinated with the idea of collecting labels from other people’s clothes too. Through the process of mapping what we wear, we understand the responsibility we carry as consumers.
Unlike other maps, these are tools to interpret an imaginary landscape. By merging their aesthetic and political values, they map not only an individual/collective landscape, but also a social and political one.”
Constança Saraiva decided that this would be the perfect moment and location to further develop these questions. She developed the project throughout an art residency in Edge Arts and Roulote – Projectos Artísticos. Edge Arts is located in Espaço Amoreiras, in Campo de Ourique – a traditional neighbourhood in Lisbon with small local shops as well as a big shopping mall build in the 80’s, with giant international clothes companies. Additionally, Roulote – Projectos Artísticos is an art space which characteristics that allows a closer approach to the neighbourhood.
During the project the artist challenged individuals to cut out and donate the labels of their clothes that were used to create maps – the process created public awareness on the textile industry and raised questions on sustainable alternatives from the participants.
The atrium of Espaço Amoreiras worked as the artist’s open studio accentuating the performative character of this artistic research. It’s exhibition panels accumulated the collected materials during the residency – an archive about the research and process of the project: documents, drawings, photographs, objects, texts and videos. The open studio was, besides a space for artistic production, a space for communication, participation and awareness. Therefore, it was open to anyone who was interested. The artist welcomed everyone into the space, to participate, discuss and observe the exhibited material.
Roulote – Projectos Artísticos was a parallel exhibition and participation space. It travelled through Campo de Ourique, to places like parks, schools and associations, inviting the community of the neighbourhood to participate.
Besides mapping the labels, the project offered its participant the opportunity to think about alternatives to the current textile industry situation with discussions and workshops.
Constança Saraiva invited three special guests to participate in a roundtable, for the final event. The debate tackled themes such as: the relationship of the human being with its clothing, the textile industry and sustainable alternatives. The roundtable took place in the open studio where the constructed archive throughout the project was in exhibition.
Round table guests:
Ana Couto, Assistant teacher in the design courses at Architecture Faculty of Lisbon. Her research interest is the biological and affective relationship of the body with clothing.
Ana Teresa Neves, fashion designer who fell in love with the textile recycling made by her grandmothers in Fátima, Portugal. She started her own project Teresa Gameiro that brings together tradition and contemporaneity, and that creates ecologically sustainable products. www.teresagameiro.com
FabLab Lisboa developed a loom using digital-fabrication with project Torcer Ideias. As a result, anyone can fabricate and assemble their own loom in a FabLab near them. Torcer Ideias is a craft-weaving project by Etelberta and Miguel Oliveira. Mother and son, have created a new approach to handmade textiles – they develop an original, “urban” weaving, revitalizing a forgotten craft. www.fablablisboa.pt; Torcer Ideias
Roulote – Projectos Artísticos is a project by Pedro and Teresa Pires who since 2013 have been using the interior of a caravan as an art gallery. As an artistic moving place, artists are invited to develop their work not only considering the reduced space of the caravan, but also the context, history and communities characteristics of where the caravan is located. roulote.pt