Thursday, 22 September 2011

Selfridges: Museum of Everything and The Shoe Galleries

The Museum of Everything forces you to confront questions that History of Art students have been pondering for a 100s of years: ‘What is art and who decides? And, Who is qualified to make art and what is it for?’  The space is laid out like a dilapidated old house, with peeling wallpaper and the walls crowded with work, the exact opposite of the open white gallery walls we usually view art on and the opposite of the shiny retail heaven that it sits within.

Many of the ‘outsider’ artists work is often (not here) displayed next to contemporary artists, this blurs the line between ‘outsider’ artists and regular artists challenges the viewer to make a distinction when both are displayed as equals, in the same context, the same space.

Ruby Bradford Print, £80, Selfridges

Tom Wagener Print, £80, Selfridges

Jean-Jacques Oost Print, £80, Selfridges

The same could be said of shoes (stay with me here) I left the Museum of Everything in a thoughtful mood, which invaded my shopping orientated brain. I started thinking about setting, how the context of objects affects how we judge them, the value we assign to them. The revamped Selfridges shoe galleries, which celebrates it 1st birthday this week, brings all its shoes, high street and designer, together in one fabulous place and in so doing makes it difficult to tell one from the other.

The biggest shock was River Island shoes- normally the reserve of 17 year old party girls- every pair in Selfridges seemed grown up, chic and very desirable. If it wasn’t for the neon sign, I would have put a 4 in front of the number on the price tag and might have mistaken some for Rupert Sanderson or Charlotte Olympia.  It was amazing- I wanted almost every pair and I don’t think I would if I’d seen them in a River Island store. My picks are shown below…but they might have lost some of their Selfridges magic online. 

If you would like to know more about outsider art or shoes you can visit the Museum of Everything Website or the Selfridges website 

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