The women’s and gender studies class project, Sorting Party, was done in collaboration with Canadian artist Mindy Yan Miller, who has worked extensively with used clothing in her art practice.
Thirty-five students from the WGST 324.3 class—which is entitled Rebels With A Cause: Feminism and the Visual Arts—sorted through 50 bags of used clothing from Village Green, a local thrift shop. For two hours they sorted and piled the clothes, categorizing the various pieces based on country of origin. The clothing piles are now stacked next to the names of the countries in which they were produced, and the piles will remain on display until March 6.
Course instructor Joan Borsa said many people are responding to the art installation and she has learned a lot by adding the Sorting Party project to the class.
The interdisciplinary project enables students to “consider clothing as a type of material text and archive, whose layered history conveys information about the garment industry, women’s labour, our relationship to clothing and the inequities that continue to be embedded in our own bargains,” said Borsa, a College of Arts and Science faculty member in women’s and gender studies and art and art history.