The White and Bright Aesthetics of Selling Clean

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The White and Bright Aesthetics of Selling Clean

Soap was the first commercialised product. Information and selling points about soap as a product was communicated to the possible consumer with words such as civilised and enlightened along with colonial images illustrating white as a superior race to black.

What kind of knowledge was created in order to uphold a market for soap? What is effective? Is there a certain tradition upheld?

Starting with the British Colonial Empire around 1870 with Pears Soap as the first soap to brand itself by name exclusively communicated on tradecards shared among upper class groups, to late modern mainstream advertisement in magazines in the USA to the global marked we know today in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Focusing on personal hygiene products such as body soap - and how history is reflected in this.
I will work very focused on the effects used to illustrate clean and see how history is reflected in these ideas.

This is my collection of liquid/hard soap sold on the hyper commercial market in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. This archive is the base of my research.

I have photographed liquid and hard soap products sold on the hyper commercial market in Scandinavia at supermarkets such as Ica (SE), Hemköb (SE), Willy (SE) and FØTEX (DK), Netto (DK) and Superbrugsen (DK), KIWI (NO) and COOP (NO).

The images has been collected following these restrictions;

• Only personal hygiene soap (liquid/hard soap (body shower, body wash etc. including 2 in 1 products (no intimate soap)))
• Hyper commercial only (ICA, Hemköp etc.)
• No specialized shops (Body Shops, Apoteket etc.)
• Scandinavian Countries only (Sweden, Denmark, Norway)
• As many as I can (not “all“)

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