the concise dictionary of dress

Defining an Exhibition - Judith Clark and Adam Phillips in Conversation with Rebecca Arnold

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Sketch by Judith Clark of domed structure with figures
Judith Clark, Preparatory sketch for the word 'Armoured', 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Speaker(s): Judith Clark (London College of Fashion), Adam Phillips (psychoanalyst and writer), chaired by Rebecca Arnold (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Rebecca Arnold

Commissioned by Artangel, The Concise Dictionary of Dress re-describes 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.

Located within the working store for the V&A’s vast reserve collections of furniture, ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, fashion and fine arts, The Concise Dictionary of Dress begins with a journey through a turnstile, into an industrial goods lift and up to the first in a sequence of intriguing definitions in a walk-through dictionary of dress.

Cast objects and photographs, tableaux of clothing and accessories are 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 reveals surreal and evocative interventions in unexpected places; metaphors of repression and ceremony; fragments of the clothed body briefly glimpsed.

The exhibition by Judith Clark and Adam Phillips, The Concise Dictionary of Dress, takes place 28 April - 27 June 2010, Blythe House, W14 0QX

Judith Clark is Reader in the field of Fashion and Museology at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London, where she is Co-director (with Amy de la Haye) of MA Fashion Curation. Clark lectures widely on issues of dress display and is an associate lecturer at IUAV, Venice. She is currently researching a book with Amy de la Haye on the history of curating fashion to be published by Yale University Press in 2011. She has curated exhibitions at the V&A, ModeMuseum, Antwerp, Palazzo Pitti, Florence and the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and writer, the author of several books, most recently, Side Effects (2006) and On Kindness (with Barbara Taylor, 2009). He is the general editor of the new Penguin edition of the selected works of Sigmund Freud and a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.

For further information see Artangel's website:

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