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Carole Baillargeon.

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Garde-Robe et les dix commandements de mademoiselle Élégante (Wardrobe and the Ten Commandments of Miss Elegant)

This installation is composed of 10 clothing façades suspended from hangers, 10 pieces of shoes moulded from handmade paper and, 10 frames presenting a commandment associated to a garment in the wardrobe. It has been presented in the Netherlands, Germany, Ontario and Québec.

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La Garde-Robe, un motif autobiographique (The Wardrobe, an autobiographical motive)

The theme of wardrobe has always been intriguing to me. It somehow constitutes a catalogue of the owner's personality; each article of clothing acts as the page of a journal.

The pieces La garde-robe démodée (The Outdated Wardrobe) and Journal d'une garde-robe (Diaries of a Wardrobe) are both autobiographical. In the former, the elements are constituted of clothing I no longer wore, from my wardrobe. These articles were transformed to an intermediary state, in reference to a domestic tradition of textile recycling: ripping into strips to make braided rugs, cut into squares and quilted, cutting out fabric patterns to use as decorative appliqués, cut to make rags and, finally, ground into paste to make artisanal paper

Finiteness and memory resurface from these leftovers which, suspended from hangers, hint at their apparel origins, or is it at their next destination. Incipience and finality are intertwined to present the astonishing cycle of textiles and, perhaps, a perception of life.

The second element, Journal d'une garde-robe, takes shape as an artist's book. Throughout 1994, I indexed what I wore. Each daily enumeration is accompanied by a drawing. This exercise proved to be very enlightening. It brings to light the globalisation of the textile industry, in naming the fabrication origins of the clothing.  The drawings, in turn, revealed a fragmented frontal perception of the body, mainly focused on the upper half. These partial body illustrations seem to depict particularly well our social rapports which glamourize certain body parts, to the detriment of its entirety.

These two elements, along with the Les dix commandements de mademoiselle Élégante reveal the semantics which link an individual to a society, such as the garment to its wardrobe.

Carole Baillargeon


La garde-robe démodée, 1994 (The Outdated Wardrobe)

Artist's clothing altered, hangers, plastic bags.
Variable dimensions according display.


Journal d'une garde-robe (Diaries of a Wardrobe)

Rolodex, paper, drawing
24X28X13 cm
(Private collection)


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