Survivor Art Installation
The Community Gallery at Penn State Lehigh Valley presents “What Were You Wear? Survivor Art Installation.” The exhibit runs Oct. 28 to Dec. 14.
The “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation originated at the University of Arkansas in 2013. Created by Jen Brockman and Mary Wyandt-Hiebert, the project was inspired by Mary Simmerling’s poem, “What I Was Wearing.”
Anonymous survivor stories will be displayed along with clothing the story describes. Penn State Lehigh Valley students from RISE and Art Clubs will assist with the acquiring and installation of the clothing. Brockman and Wyandt-Hiebert offer all resources for this exhibition with the condition that the organization partner with an agency who supports victims of sexual abuse.
This exhibition challenges participants to engage with the universal connection we have with clothing and reflect on what gives this specific rape culture myth so much power. To put clothing on is so basic and common, to take that action and conflate it with pain and suffering taints not only the individual outfit for the survivor; but also, calls in to question all simplistic and normal behaviors as dangerous.