A Concise Dictionary of Dress
The V&A’s reserve collection store at Blyth House in Olympia was the setting for Artangel’s intriguing 2010 installation incorporating mysterious text definitions by Adam Phillips alongside artworks conceived by Judith Clark.
Set in the working store for the V&A’s vast reserve collections, The Concise Dictionary of Dress began with a journey through a turnstile, into an industrial goods lift and up to the first in a sequence of definitions in a walk-through dictionary of dress.
Cast objects and photographs, tableaux of clothing and accessories were arranged amongst the rolling racks and wrapped objects stored at Blythe House, the former headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank in Olympia, west London. The anatomy of the building revealed surreal and evocative interventions in unexpected places; metaphors of repression and ceremony; fragments of the clothed body briefly glimpsed.
Commissioned by Artangel, The Concise Dictionary of Dress re-described clothing in terms of anxiety, wish and desire, as a series of definitions created by psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and accompanying installations designed and assembled by fashion curator Judith Clark.
Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, London