Clothesline Stories is based on the premise that clothes hanging out to dry in any kind of a landscape or interior environment provide insight into the lives of the people who own that clothing. Clothesline Stories interviews people about their clothes and then displays their stories within a unique and compelling environment.

Creative Team: Judy Lieff, Gail Benneth, Wenqi Li

 
The image of a clothesline recalls a place and time: connecting the windows of tenements in cities past, or evoking the classic Americana of a mother hanging her wash on the line, her child running through the sheets as they catch the breeze in the sunshine. We are spiraled through time, when we pinch  open a clothespin, and choose hang an item to dry. I cannot wait to experience this immersive installation, and see how a simple line stretched from point to point can stir up so much nostalgia for time gone by.

- Stephanie Nasteff, Actress

In an era of divisive politics where gender, race, and class issues permeate the headlines, we have designed a project to transcend the biases that can exist within many communities.

Inside the installation, participants hang an article of clothing on a line. When they do, the environment transforms into an immersive experience which reveals the owner of that piece of clothing and the story that they have to tell.

 
 

Whether in India or Singapore, Mexico or the U.S., as we travelled, we have been fascinated by the endless variety of colors and types of clotheslines observed. 

They create persistent public images of how local residents interact with architectures and plants, revealing a fact of inhabitation. They are seen as physical natural boundaries between residential districts and working districts. 

However, in the U.S. there are approximately 19 states that have banned exterior clotheslines. While it's not officially addressed in the Housing and Maintenance Code in New York City, a license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.

"The Clothesline is an intriguing way to bind a disparate set of identities. When interviewed, I thought I was telling jokes, but when I saw my face in the sunflowers I felt suddenly public, and plausible, and very human. I think this is a meaningful project in a space that so often focuses on art that will quickly turn to a product.”

- Alex Leitch, Tech Consultant & Artist Based in Toronto

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