9. Between social readings and self-categorisation: jewellery as social vector

“Your body is a battleground” wrote American artist Barbara Kruger in a famous 1989 work. That text – printed bold over the black-and white face of a woman – lent urgency to a relatively new idea coming from social and gender theory: that the individual body is a public space and that this space is where self-determination meets socio-cultural engineering head on.

Her one-liner is a useful tool to look past the agency of objects, at the creativity of “wearers”: the last century is full of sartorial “moves” that mock, ape, side-step or ridicule the social order. These moves are not always conceived in terms of warfare, but do constitute pockets of resistance to social conventions.

We welcome papers that consider the following research questions:  What is the nature of “wearer creativity”? What are the conditions that allow it to thrive and the means of its dissemination? Who cares (or in less trivial terms: who needs to be looking for it to matter?) What specific social or political agendas does jewellery engage with?

Keywords: wearer creativity, appropriation, dissemination, self-identification