A robot on webpages asking users to confirm not being a robot. Once, we used brooms and rakes; today, we have leaf blowers. We became victims of our fascination for technical garments. Instead of following our wish to save energy, we use energy and fuel-consuming machines. A tumbler belongs to many households. Our trust in the wind is gone.
I never had a tumbler. Whenever hanging laundry, I never spend a thought about an order or system. For almost 50 years, I have hung the pieces in pretty much the same order as I took them out of the washing machine. Whenever I lived in the countryside, my laundry was blowing in the wind. When I moved to a city, I used to place the laundry rack inside my flat as if I was worrying about the privacy of my laundry.
When I moved to Greenland, I was surprised by the huge amount of clothes-drying racks on each single balcony, and even each residential area has big sections for hanging laundry. Going deeper into this phenomenon, I found two explanations: The first is that almost every flat in Greenland is owned by the government and managed by an organization called INI, which requests that its clients not to dry laundry inside due to risk of mold in the apartments. The second explanation comes from locals, who refer to the super-dry air of Greenland and the fact that the laundry, when being dried outdoors, smells like the sea.
The photo project Aesthetics of Hanging Laundry investigates if and how Greenlanders subconsciously hang laundry in a way which refers to the age-old passion for colors and patterns as it is passed on in form of avittat, the traditional leather embroidery that is an important part of the national costume.
It is striking that some people prefer to hang laundry according to size and color, while others show a sense for repeating patterns. Often the laundry`s color matches the color of the owner`s house. Not everybody has this aesthetic way of order, but surprisingly many do. Some seem also to like adding additional scents--while hanging laundry next to drying fish or caribou meat.
Aesthetics of Hanging Laundry is about discovering the beauty of sculptures consisting of stiff, frozen sheets and towels. It is a call to enjoy dependence on weather. Dare to dry and never give up. One day, your laundry will be ready.