Shoe-Watching

In December we exhibited in the ICOSS building at the University of Sheffield. The exhibition communicated the research project and samples of our data to our colleagues throughout the University and was received with great interest. For a fuller description of what was in the exhibition please take a look at the ‘Papers, Reviews and Work in Progress’ page of the main website.

For the purposes of our blog we thought we would post a brief film made by Alex that was featured at the main entrance of the exhibition. This mesmerising 7 minutes of shoe-watching on London’s Carnaby Street seems to visually articulate the fascinating subject we are currently investigating. The diverse array of shoes causes one to think, who might choose to wear such shoes? what are they doing? where are they going?

We hope you enjoy the film and would be really interested to hear your thoughts and opinions. Also, look out for the pigeon!

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2 Responses to Shoe-Watching

  1. I was thinking some more about my mother’s shoes, why I didn’t want them after she died. I didn’t want to step into her shoes: as if taking her place in caring for my father, as if adopting her viewpoint on the world, her way of being, and also in a sense to partake of my own death through hers. It was a deep and instinctive rejection. I am fascinated by how deep this feeling was.

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    • jenny hockey says:

      I’m assuming that you and your mother had the same size feet? I wonder if there is some kind of special pressure when we can easily make use of someone’s left behind footwear? It’s also an interesting take on the whole question of whether or not people will wear someone else’s shoes – i.e. we’ve thought about disgust and the ambiguous nature of shoes/feet as a strange mix of the pure/beautiful and the impure/ugly. But maybe the metonymic nature of shoes – who they stand for or form a part of – also contributes to people’s resistance, as you suggest. And even if we never knew the person, we might make assumptions about them on the basis of their shoes.

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