Agnes Richter’s Blouse on display in Heidelberg Germany
Agnes Richter was a German seamstress held as a patient in an insane asylum during the 1890s. During her time there, she densely embroidered her strait jacket with words, undecipherable phrases and drawings which documented her thoughts and feelings throughout her time there.
Through the script she transcribed herself into time, space and place. Her writing orients and disorients. Made in 1895, it is a standard issue uniform given to mental patients at the time. Richter has embroidered so intensively that reading impossible in certain areas of the garment. Words appear and disappear into seams and under layers of thread. There is no beginning or end, just spirals of intersecting fragmentary narratives. She is declarative: “I”, “mine”, “my jacket”, “my white stockings…., “I am in the Hubertusburg / ground floor”, “children”, “sister” and “cook”. In the inside she has written “1894 I…
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