Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thoughts on Donning Oxford.

Long past are the days of wearing a city's insignia on your person, and barr the act of wearing a college scarf or team sports kit it is hard to identify a person in relation to place.  

It could be said that it is through the ease of movement afforded to us by modern living that we have come to view ourselves as separate from place and thus to view our identities as singular constructs. Therefor it is now generally understood that to wear a garment or piece of jewellery is an expression of our own personality (or of the self we wish to project) and an assertion of our individuality.

Yet, this exhibition invites us to cast aside any civic pride hesitancy and to 'don' Oxford both figuratively and physically.

Oxford has far greater complexity than the sum of its streets, landmarks and the widely held notions on its culture, and so we are prompted to re-examine our locality, to seek out the overlooked, to find new ways of seeing, and to re-evaluate and re-negotiate our relationships with this city. 

The outcomes of this exhibition may be seen to be memorabilia, mnemonic devices or assertions to belonging, but all (once claimed) will surely rekindle a sense of place whilst simultaneously maintain this sense of self we so strongly uphold.

Finally, it is commonly acknowledged that 'The City' mirrors society, and so there is a certain satisfaction in the knowledge that through the act of capturing and expressing these complexities and then through the act of wearing them, we in turn hold up a mirror to Oxford.

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