435 King Street East, Cambridge, ON
A popular proverb commonly used in Spanish speaking countries states that “dirty cloths are washed at home”, or that “you can wash your dirty linen with…” a particular person or group of people. A similar but rather constricting motto is rendered in English as “you don’t air your dirty laundry.” Allegories about washing or airing our dirty cloths suggest the longing to share messy, unsuccessful, intimate, and at times traumatic domestic stories.
Inspired by diverging interpretations of this popular saying, Dana’s work focuses on an exhaustive exploration of used rags donated by more than 200 women of my family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. Rags have been incorporated into the work through a study of installation, printmaking and performance procedures as well as historically female domestic practices and creative processes such as washing, cooking, sewing and embroidering.
The work’s mundane, worn and pungent elements complicate romantic representations of the female identity creating an experience that is at the same time welcoming, mesmerizing and abject. This series of work re-frames and re-enacts the ordinary cloths into affective materials, actions, and spaces that embody female narratives of alliances and disconnections with cleaning and sustenance. Overall, “Ragged Along” expands on Dana’s research around residues and femininity, urging us to reflect on the leftover pieces of unclean stories that rightfully shape us.
Dana Prieto is an Argentine artist and educator based in Toronto. She holds a BFA from OCAD University with a major in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Indigenous Visual Cultures, and is currently a York University MFA candidate in Visual Arts.