Artist Emily Spivack invites visitors to The Museum of Modern Art to contribute to An archive of everything worn to MoMA from November 1, 2017, to January 28, 2018 by sending a text message listing the clothing they or their companions are wearing during their visit. Visitors are encouraged to notice and consider the garments on their own bodies and the clothes that surround them. Once completed, this democratically generated archive will have captured an impression of a specific period of time at the Museum through vernacular descriptions of clothed bodies.
Submitted descriptions will be projected in the People’s Studio, on the third floor of the Museum, and accessible online. Upon the project’s conclusion, the descriptions will be submitted to the MoMA Archives to preserve a record of Museum visitors at a specific moment in time through the clothing they wore.
This project, a collaboration with the Department of Education as part of Artists Experiment, is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern?
Emily Spivack is an artist, writer, and editor whose work draws from contemporary culture, clothing, history, and our relationship to everyday objects. She is the author of Worn in New York (2017), a contemporary cultural history of New York told through clothing, which is a follow-up to her New York Times best seller Worn Stories (2014) and wornstories.com (2010), collections of stories about clothing and memory. In her column for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, The Story of a Thing, Spivack interviews cultural figures about objects in their homes that provide insight into their interests and quirks. Spivack’s off-site installation for the Honolulu Museum of Art, Medium White Tee, was a fulfillment of President Barack Obama’s stated fantasy to run a T-shirt shack that sold only medium-sized white tees as a respite from his nonstop decision-making. She spent seven years finding stories about clothing from eBay posts for her website, Sentimental Value, which she exhibited in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Portland. Spivack created Threaded, the Smithsonian’s only blog about the history of clothing, and she made howtodresslike.com, an online archive of nearly 1,000 step-by-step instructions culled from wikiHow.
Spivack has lectured and presented at museums and universities including The Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, New York University, Brown University, Bard College, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She and her work have been featured in The New York Times, New York magazine, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. emilyspivack.info