Casual Friday, 2002

Commissioned for the exhibition Rapture, Barbican Art Gallery, London

Although adherence to workplace dress codes has long been an aspect of “performance evaluation”, Casual Friday has brought about a transformation of identity and self image within the corporate structure. Fearful of what appeared to be the breakdown of the implicit rules of dress that helped define social and economic boundaries, institutions suddenly needed to find new ways to represent their internal hierarchies and power structures by actively controlling employees' appearance. This included the publication of official dress codes that were then interpreted by self-appointed image consultants, seminars and self help publications. Bringing together found materials from all sides of the Casual Friday negotiations, this installation used Power Point Presentation, the technology of corporate communication, to continue my ongoing study and analysis of the aesthetics of power and the power of aesthetics in the contemporary workplace.