Justino Velandia


The Sewing Machines Are a Girl’s Best Friend / Semiotics of the Dressmaking Workshop, 2022
Video installation 

The recent phases of capitalism have driven different production schemes compared to the large plantations and factories where workers once gathered. In this new model, industrial work is outsourced to small-scale production structures known as 'satellites,' which often operate in the same spaces where workers labor for large corporations. This model is particularly entrenched in the textile manufacturing sector. "The Sewing Machines Are a Girl’s Best Friend / Semiotics of the Dressmaking Workshop" appropriates Martha Rosler's work "Semiotics of the Kitchen" (1975). In this piece, Justino Velandia presents various tools used in a family dressmaking workshop located in his own home, in a composition that blends the graphics of an online tutorial, elements of video art, and texts describing these working conditions. The video screen is installed in a small fitting room inspired by the cluttered commercial spaces where a massive amount of clothing is manufactured in these satellite workshops. Velandia challenges the narratives that glorify labor, confronts the convergence of domestic spaces where caregiving and post-industrial productive work occur, and highlights the forms of production, circulation, and consumption fostered by these contemporary dynamics. 

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