Linen and horsehair collar with hand-sewn alphabet, wood and glass vitrine
20 inches (diameter), 6 3/4 x 22 x 22 inches (vitrine)

Out of Hamilton’s thinking about the forms and meanings of the alphabet for aleph, 1992 and tropos, 1993 came the untitled alphabetically lined collar, sewn following Giovan Francesco Cresci’s “Renaissance Alphabet” using filaments of horsehair that had been used for the oceanic pelts surfacing the irregular topography of the gallery floor at the Dia Center for the Arts for her tropos installation. (Hamilton also focused on the neck in one of her miniature videos, (dissections . . . they said it was an experiment • video), 1988/1993; both the video and this collar turn on the “joint of head and body.”) With the sewn alphabet close to the neck, and the extensions from each letter on the opposite site of the cloth splaying out to create a ruff, the internal lettering is invisible (when the collar is worn), while the extended, external lengths of lettering are unreadable.

Photo credit: Aaron Igler