Laundry 'En Plein Air'

challenges fast fashion En Plein Air at the 48 hours Neukölln, forum for artistic projects from all sectors of the Berlin art scene. 
On the 19th and 20th of June 2021 | Installation featuring 48 laundry racks | Körnerpark Berlin-Neukölln
all photos © Paolo Gallo

Over the course of two days during the art festival 48 Stunden Neuköllnthe challenges fast fashion team transformed itself into true plein air painters.As location and motif for our painting sessions, we chose the magnificent landscapes of the Körnerpark in Neukölln.

Alice Fassina rings in the big wash!

On the early hours of a Saturday, on the 19th of June, we set up our unique easels in front of the Galerie im Körnerpark and began to paint using some very unusual colours: Our ‘saved items’ – clothes saved by our own team – were hanging over 48 laundry racks that were collected from the streets of Berlin or kindly donated by people from the community: The colour palette we could choose from was made up entirely of the wardrobes of Neukölln's inhabitants and came together to form a neo-impressionist tableau. 

The sculptural intervention 'En Plein Air' performed different roles:

A piece of art:
The laundry flowing in the open air created a distinctive contrast to the architectural design of the gallery in the Orangery and the overall look of the park. The domestic activity of laundry-making now took place in a neo—baroque green space, playfully experimenting both with social etiquette and washing instructions.

A participative installation:
Everyone was encouraged to take pieces of clothing home with them, contribute items from their own wardrobes or exchange garments for one another. During the two days, the installation continuously assumed new unexpected and unpredictable colours and shapes.

A cluster of a circular exchange of ideas:
Our community of ragpickers provided an open space to explore questions of identity and sociality, consumerism and modes of fashion production. The participating audience confirmed once again that not only the need for clothing but the joy of dressing up is something that unites us all, regardless of age, gender or language.

An unusual experience:  The most curious participants booked a STREET SHOPPING tour with us and got to experience first-hand how much fun a ragpicker has at work. As we cruised through the neighbourhood, saving discarded clothing, we contemplated the impact of fashion and the global textile industry on our lives and the environment. No tour ever ended without textile trophies on mobile clothes racks and many a garment already found a new owner during our city strolls.

The last STREET SHOPPING tour was led by Cryptida furry fairy-being: an entity without gender, she/he/it went searching for human 'i-thems', exploring them on his/her own body.

On Sunday evening, 20th of June, a concert by the event series 'Sommer im Park' accompanied the dismantling of our installation and we left the baroque park with the Citizen's new clothes, brimming with memories of interesting conversations and moving encounters.

We would like to thank all STREETWARE team members and friends who made 'En Plein Air' possible at a scorching 36 degrees:

 Alice Fassina | Hatim Alyafi | Céline Iffli-Naumann | Jan Markowsky | Stella Cristofolini | Lina Tegtmeyer | Aïcha Abbadi | Andreas Herbst | KDindi | Paolo Gallo | Daniela Sant | Jule Kox | Anneta Pap | Therry Konrath | Marie Lou Honert | Chiara Radina |

And one more thing: The journalist Hanna Komornitzyk  has written in art-in-berlin- about STREETWARE saved item En Plein Air at 48 hours Neukölln

En Plein Air' at the art festival '48 hours Neukölln ' was supported by the Creative Matterz Fund