16 Tons
17 Tons: Memory as practice
17 Tons: Memory as practice
2012 Architects & Refunc
Aesthetics of Pollution
Alexandrov, Grigori
Almarcegui, Lara
Amalrik, Leonid, Dmitri Babichenko & ...
Amorales, Carlos
Anthoine, Roger
Apóstol, Alexander
Art Salon | Artist Talk ...
Artwork Entry
Ashington Group, The
Auden, W. H. [Wystan Hugh]
Becher, Bernd & Hilla
Beehive Design Collective
Ben Cain: About his research
Ben Cain: Audience and Interaction
Ben Cain: Physical aspects of ...
Bevierre, Olivier
Biscotti, Rossella
Bissill, George
Boltanski, Christian
Boom, Irma & Johan Pijnappel
Brandt, Bill
Britten, Benjamin
Broodthaers, Marcel
Buckle, Janet
Burtynsky, Edward
Cain, Ben
Campbell, Duncan
Carboniferous Landscapes
Cinematek Brussels
Claire Fontaine
Claus, Emile
Coal Face, 1935
Cobb, Francis William
Contemporary Art
Cornish, Norman
Crises of Capitalism
Cuauhtémoc Media (Chief Curator Manifesta ...
Cvijanovic, Nemanja
Cycles of Realism
Dark Matter
Dawn Ades: Coal as a ...
Daykin, Gilbert
de Loutherbourg, Philippe Jacques
Deller, Jeremy
Demuth, Charles
Douard, Cécile
Duchamp, Marcel
Durán, Manuel
Edgar Hermans about the Heritage ...
Embroidered Sayings
Epics of Redundancy
Ernst, Max
European Civilisation
Furlan, Tomaž
Garden Cities
Geers, Kendell
Geerts, Paul
Goldin+ Senneby
Granata, Rocco
Gronbach, Eva
Grubic, Igor
Guillaumin, Armand
Habex, Jan
Hair, Thomas Harrison
Hammons, David
Hanging the Manifesta 9 Flag
Harrison, Tony
Harskamp, Nicoline van
Hedwig Fijen: The idea behind ...
Herman, Josef
Heslop, Robert
Hüner, Emre
Industrial Revolution
Interview: Ante Timmermans
Ivens, Joris & Henri Storck
Izquierdo, Jota
Jafri, Maryam
Jitrik, Magdalena
Kaliski, Kevin
Karikis, Mikhail & Uriel Orlow
Kessels, Willy
Kilbourn, Oliver
Klutsis, Gustav
Konijnenberg, Willem Adriaan van
Konrad, Aglaia
Kozakis, Nicolas & Raoul Vaneigem
Kuai Shen
Landscape: From the Picturesque to ...
Landscape: From the Picturesque to ...
Leck, Bart van der
Lieshout, Erik van
Linde Hermans: Scenography of Manifesta ...
Livrets des ouvriers mineurs du ...
Long, Richard
Luce, Maximilien
Luque, Manuel
Maciá, Oswaldo
Manifesta 9
Manifesta Journal 13: Conversation between ...
Martin, John
Masereel, Frans
Mass-Observation movement
Matthys, Michaël
McCullin, Don
McGuinness, Tom
Meunier, Constantin
Michaël Matthys about La Ville ...
Mieke Mels (Curatorial Assistant) about ...
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig
Mining Machine
Monko, Marge
Moore, Henry
Munby, Arthur
Museum of the Miner’s House, ...
Newcomen Colliery Winding Engine
News from the Graveyard: On ...
Ni, Haifeng
Nostalgia and Its Discontents
Origins of Manifesta
Pabst, Georg Wilhelm
Paulus de Châtelet, Pierre
Perlee Parker, Henry
Poetics of Restructuring
Portrait of Spyros Roumeliotis and ...
Prayer Mats
Preparation of the Building
Promo Video
Raqs Media Collective
Rittase, William
Robinson, William Heath
Rocco Granata about 'Marina'
Saint Barbara
Schlingelhoff, Bea
Selander, Lina
Sime, Sidney
Smithson, Robert
Smoke, Colours and Loans
Soi, Praneet
Soviet propaganda
Stella, Joseph
Sutherland, Graham Vivien
The Age of Coal: An ...
The Legacy of Manifesta
The Mine Depot, Waterschei
Timmermans, Ante
Tomaszewski, Yan
Torfs, Ana
Underground as Hell
Underground, Models of the
Vanden Eynde, Maarten
Vandersteen, Willy
Vega Macotela, José Antonio
Venet, Bernar
Vercheval, Georges
Vermeir, Katleen & Ronny Heiremans
VIDEO: Kuai Shen
Video: manifesta 9 symposium on ...
VIDEO: Marge Monko - Nora's ...
VIDEO: Raqs Media Collective - ...
Video: Sounds from Beneath - ...
VIDEO:Oswaldo Maciá - Martinete
Visible Solutions, LLC
Waterschei Planning Archive
Woods, Paolo
Zola, Émile
Zwartberg drama

EN / nl


Dirt was a class issue through the 19th century. Dirt defined and was defined by class, and pervades the intersection between the real and the symbolic that characterises so much 19th century art and literature. 

The distinguishing characteristic of a lady was her white, unstained hands, and communications between servants and masters were controlled by rigid rules and conventions. In domestic terms the coal hole is the darkest and dirtiest place in the house. Maids handle the coal for fires, black the grates and endlessly scrub and sweep. When Tom the little chimney sweep (aged about eight), in Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, gets lost among the chimneys of a great house and emerges in a pristine, snow-white bedroom where a golden-haired girl lies asleep, he catches sight of himself in a mirror, sees a “little, ugly, black, ragged figure with bleared eyes and grinning white teeth” and turns on it angrily. “What did such a little black ape want in that sweet young lady’s room?” He then realises that it is himself, and “for the first time in his life found out that he was dirty”(2000:26). Chased from the house he plunges into a stream to wash himself, drowns and becomes a water-baby. The questions of class and sexuality implicit in this fairy story haunt the strange case of Kingsley’s friend Arthur Munby, who has become famous for his photographs of pithead girls, incongruously posed in the plush surroundings of a photographer’s studio with carpet and panelling, often still grimy-faced, with their sieves, wheelbarrows, shovels and even piles of coal. Much has been made of Munby’s possible “mysophilia” – finding dirt sexually attractive - as well as his fetishistic attraction to the implements of female labour (see for example Stallybrass and White 1986:155f.). Munby’s wife, Hannah Collwick, like the pit women, took part in the studio sessions, posing as a “chimney sweep”, blackening herself “from head to foot” and crouching on the ground like a slave (Hudson 1974:133f.). There is, however, a theatrical character to her pose. She had seen Byron’s Sardanapalus as a girl and been much affected by Myrrha the slave-girl’s devotion to the king. A domestic servant, Collwick was as committed to loving someone above her class as Munby was to loving below his. It was impossible for them openly to be married, without Munby losing his place in society. Both for a time enjoyed the charade; intelligent and literate, she was quite capable of dressing up to go into society, though forced to wear gloves because her rough worn hands would immediately betray her. He was touched, even aroused seeing her in abject positions scrubbing the fender, “streaked and disfigured with soot and grime”, and both in their respective diaries describe her as being “in her dirt” (Hudson 1974:132). His inhibitions and her eventual refusal to switch sides and give up working led to them living apart: she could not bear the boredom of sitting in a drawing room all day, with white hands, doing nothing. DA