These Things Matter is an ongoing project led by the Museum of Colour in partnership with Bodleian Libraries & Fusion Arts. The project is dedicated to putting on an exhibition which will investigate the ideas and relationships that maintained systems of empire and slavery, using items from the Bodleian Libraries collection as examples of emotional control.
The exhibition will be formed through a collaborative process featuring six objects and six contemporary responses created by artists. We want to investigate the ideas and relationships that maintained systems of empire and slavery. The exhibition will bring in previously unheard interpretive voices and will communicate fresh perspectives on documents in the Bodleian collections through newly created artworks.
During October and November 2021, community members were facilitated by curators and researchers from the Bodleian Libraries and MoC to choose objects that will form the foundation of this exhibition and the subjects of the artistic commissions. The objects selected relate to slavery and empire. Participants were encouraged to engage with the material, ask questions, discuss and then decide. The objects and items chosen by participants through this series of workshops are to be used for inspiration for the exhibition: we aim to make small shifts in decision making power and explore how it feels for all involved.
Fusion is helping with artist consultation for commissions and have supported the workshops, using our community links within Oxfordshire to provoke meaningful artist support and conversations.
Curation of the exhibition will be determined by workshops with community groups, historians and artists, who will learn about archival objects and decide which objects should feature.
The exhibition will run from November 2022 -January 2023 at the Bodleian Library, and then will tour a number of libraries and small museums in the UK over 2023-24.
We are currently have an open call out for artists who would like to get involved and be commissioned to reinterpret the artefacts. Those who are interested can find more information about the callout on our Opportunities page.
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