Rachel Breen's avatar Rachel Breen

Shroud is an installation of used white shirts, commemorating the 1,281 garment workers whose lives were lost in the combined tragedies of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City and the 2013 Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh. These two tragedies are combined to emphasize that they are not separate stories but one story that describes the way consumerism has influenced labor conditions for working people throughout history and across the globe. The shirts refer to the white shrouds used to wrap corpses in Bangladesh and in the Jewish faith. The shirts also reference the white cotton shirtwaists sewn and worn by New York women garment workers at the turn of the century, and the clothes sewn by Bangladesh’s garment workers today. Sleeves hang down towards the public, reaching for what is absent -- our lack of recognition of a connection to these workers whose arms have labored under unfair working conditions to sew our clothes.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: dimensions variable
  • Medium: shirts, thread, zip ties
  • Width: dimensions variable
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: dimensions variable