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Pattern Language: Clothing as Communicator

Organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, Massachusetts
Traveling Summer 2005-Winter 2008
Judith Hoos Fox, Curator

The many functions of clothing vary culturally, geographically and through history. This exhibition investigates clothing as expression and fulfillment of human needs, here and now—needs of the mind, body and soul. It highlights works in which artists go beyond the everyday utility of clothing, and instead use clothing, fabric and the body to invent new forms of communication and interaction between wearers, between wearers and their clothes, and between the makers of clothing and the fashion system. The artists here have used the format of garments to critique standard notions about clothing, fashion and society. In many of these works, artists use the familiar nature of clothing to help us imagine the impossible. The works in the exhibition are in most instances either unique or editioned pieces. The exhibition includes historical work, contemporary work and new proposals, as well as interactive and wearable editions, some commissioned specifically for this project.