Judith Clark and Adam Phillips: The Concise Dictionary of Dress

28 April - 27 June 2010
Blythe House, London W14

Gateway at Blythe House Swords at Blythe House. Photograph by Julian Abrams

Although The Concise Dictionary of Dress has now closed, please see our web section (links are on the right hand side of this page) for a wealth of especially commissioned writing, video and audio created during the project's residency in Blythe House.

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 began 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 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.

The Concise Dictionary of Dress is also a 128-page hardback book. Illustrated in colour and with written contributions from Adam Phillips and Judith Clark and specially commissioned photography by Norbert Schoerner, it was published in April 2010 by Violette Editions in association with Artangel priced £25.00.

The second edition of the Artangel Podcast was released on 19 May 2010 and saw Artangel Co-Director Michael Morris take a walk through the V&A's vast, maze-like stores at Blythe House - in the company of the building's longstanding manager Glenn Benson. Click here to listen, download or subscribe.

The Concise Dictionary of Dress was produced by Artangel in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was supported by Arts Council England, Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and The Company of Angels. Artangel is also grateful to the London College of Fashion for their support of this project.