Helen Fremont writes: “Shoes have a personality, they have a soul. If you listen long enough, the shoes will tell you everything you need to know. They lie at the base of a man, negotiating the thin edge of existence. The soul drips into them, drop by reckless drop. They have tongues. They have eyes. They see, they speak.” I see shoes as an object with strong symbolic meanings linked to it, I aim to explore these different semiotics, reveal them and transform them to create contradictory and different interpretations in context of social and political issues.
This work is about the vulnerability and fragility of the human in the capitalist system of social classes and consumerism.
Shoes are symbol of social class and economic statue of the person; they represent a personal identity, these fragile shoes are made from thin aluminum foils, all looking similar in terms of color and texture, lack of a defined identity. These shoes are light, fragile, made from a domestic throw away material, symbolizing an alien sense of a lost identity in materialistic culture. According to Marxist theory, purchasing things is alienation, "the objects and artifacts we possess are signifiers of the alienation we feel. We purchase things in order to assuage our sense of frustration with our situation __ not recognizing, of course, why we are acting the way we do." Therefore, one is never satisfied of consumerist needs.
Personal belongings, such as shoes could be a symbol of personal identity, however in today's capitalist world, it is not defined and, as Foucault states, "...people do not have a 'real' identity within themselves; that's just a way of talking about the self -- a discourse. An 'identity' is communicated to others in your interactions with them, but this is not a fixed thing within a person. It is a shifting, temporary construction." My aim is to visualize the sense of commodified alienation.
Blain|Southern: Nasan Tur exhibition influenced my practice by pushing me to explore the work of an artist with similar themes of fragility and vulnerability of the human from a different perspective, helping me develop my ideas further and be able to define my practice more precisely.
Doris Salcedo, "Atrabiliarios", heavily influenced my practice, by revealing the way that shoes as object could represent a presence of absence had a great impact on me and changed the way I was used to viewing objects. Another artwork which was influential to my practice was Tarek Atia’s, "Ghost" installation. I was impressed by the powerful work with a simple material of foil! I continued to do more research about the material and artist who worked with foil; one of my other favorites was Tomas Friedman's "Circle Dance".