The clothed body is at once subject and object, natural and cultural, physical and social, and is so central to our everyday activities, so embedded in our social and cultural experiences that it is often taken for granted. When worn shoes become part of the body, changing the way we move, and our bodily experience. However, in museum or gallery settings, clothing artefacts are invariably static and not able to convey the ways they were/are given life when worn. This research aims to bridge the interpretive gap and push the boundaries of innovative display by further exploring ways to document and examine clothed bodies in action, to access and convey their essential dynamism.
A series of video vignettes put viewers ‘into the shoes’ of another, to draw on empathy and personal interpretation. Several ‘characters’ are walking along separate lines or pathways that interconnect or collide to suggest serendipitous events, loss or damage. Mass produced shoes are worn in each of the vignettes, which call on attitudes towards collective identities, as well as those of personal agency and resistance. All the ‘characters’ are enacted and filmed by the researcher, to convey shoes as material manifestations of identity that transform or define an ‘individual’ person, and to highlight the connections between clothing, time and place.
1. Screening on atrium ceiling at Theatre Royal, Winchester, UK. Part of ‘10 Days in the City’ Winchester, International Arts Festival. October/November 2011. http://vimeo.com/35093365
2. A screening, including a sequence recorded in India, with in the nationally and internationally significant Northampton Footwear Collection. In relation to The World at Your Feet, cross-disciplinary international conference: making connections through world collections of footwear. University of Northampton and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, 20th- 21st March 2013.