In Your Shoes

“In Your Shoes” is a site-specific project I carried out in Pinerolo (Italy), for the festival “Musica in Prossimità”. The urban action took place between the 17th and the 20th of September 2019 and an audiovisual installation was opened to the public on the 21st of September.



[ENG]

A site-specific intervention aims at making the artist cast an external eye on a certain place, retrieving in return a transversal vision. But it’s tricky to explore a town in few days, delve into its social meshwork, feel part of its mechanisms.

For this reason, invited to work site-specifically in the town of Pinerolo (Italy), I decided to engage with the inhabitants by literally forcing myself into being in their shoes. I made them lend me their pairs of shoes and I wandered in Pinerolo, in those places suggested by their owners, but also adopting the ways of walking that the shoes themselves imposed on me, being critically uncomfortable or too small for my feet. The shoes were entrusted with the exploration of the town.

I equipped each pair of shoes with contact microphones, in order to record the tactile sensation and the vibration that would take place in the shoes.

A recognition of the relationship between foot and soil, as experienced by the inhabitants, but at the same time a way to establish a connection between me and the Pinerolo people. The unraveling of the local pedestrian’s life materializes in the repeated impact of my feet on the town’s surface, and is perceived by my brain as a tactile input. Similarly, step after step, it’s mediated by technology but returned to the place in the shape of an audiovisual recording.


[ITA]

Un intervento artistico site-specific mira a far sì che l’artista getti uno sguardo esterno su un certo luogo, restituendone una visione trasversale. Ma è difficile esplorare una città in pochi giorni, entrarne nel tessuto sociale, inserirsi nei suoi meccanismi.

Per questo ho deciso di entrare letteralmente nei panni dei suoi abitanti, facendomi prestare da essi delle scarpe e girovagando nei luoghi di Pinerolo suggeritimi dai rispettivi proprietari, dovendo inoltre camminare nei modi imposti dalle limitazioni delle calzature, spesso scomode o troppo piccole per i miei piedi. Ho delegato l’esplorazione della città a quelle scarpe.

Ho equipaggiato le scarpe con due microfoni a contatto, per registrare la sensazione tattile e le vibrazioni che attraversano la suola.

Una ricognizione del rapporto fisico tra il piede e il suolo, così come gli abitanti lo vivono, mediato dalle loro scarpe, diventa un mezzo non solo per redigere una mappa tattile delle superfici percorribili di Pinerolo, ma anche per stabilire una connessione tra me e i pinerolesi. Il vissuto locale si concretizza nell’impatto ripetuto dei miei piedi sulla superficie della città, e viene percepito dal mio cervello come impulso nervoso tattile. Parallelamente, passo dopo passo, viene mediato dalla tecnologia e a sua volta restituito al luogo sotto forma di registrazione audiovisuale.



The 14-minute audiovisual work was presented as a looped projection on the floor of the ex-church of Sant’Agostino in Pinerolo, accompanied by two heavily panned speakers and a subwoofer. Contextually, a 7-minute documentary was presented on a screen with headphones further away, near the altar, presenting the meeting with the locals and the stories behind the shoes. In another corner, a glass display with the shoes used for exploration and the devices used for recording was exhibited.

Photo of shoes, floor projection screen set-up and cover photo: F. Caruso

Glass display with different shoes and a handy recorder.


Thanks to Laura Bertolino. Thanks to Giulia, Sandra, Francesca, Maurizio, Ruggero, Efix, Marco. Thanks to Luca and Federico. Thanks to Metamorfosi Notturne, Teatro del Lavoro and Quartetto Maurice.

If this project met your interest, you may also want to read about its predecessor, Untitled 2.1.


Photo by F. Caruso

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