Down to Earth
It is no secret that shoes say a lot about the person wearing them. The shoe´s form, material and condition provide insight into social status, character, and, last but not least, potential desires.
In Down to Earth, Anna Vasof refers to this multifunctional significance while putting a very particular spin on the concept of "footwear". After all, the artist fabricated highly distinctive mechanical devices for each of her 28 shoe designs, some of which set entire stories in motion upon walking.
There is for instance a fork that vainly fishes for an olive, or a hammer that pounds the shoe to its right with each step. Furthermore, umbrellas pop open to protect shoes, some shoes get caught in nets or vainly hunt for mice, while others successfully flip pancakes or use a foot pedal to blow a trumpet and beat a marching drum.
Alongside word play and more basic, everyday situations, Vasof uses the shoes she has designed to "film" more complex associations. The words "step" and "approved" are stamped out by the heels of a pair of stilettos, while a rear-view mirror mounted on cowboy boots reveals the vanity of the person wearing them and his passion for cars.
As with each miniature, the individual step is always an important motor, each time it sets a distinct rhythm relevant to its particular story. Individual steps are therefore edited in a military staccato when it comes to army boots that chase an arrow, but the tempo is almost perfectly steady when it comes to a lady´s shoe coquettishly swinging while it sprawls out in the breeze of a fan.
Translation: Eve Heller
Down to Earth