In Les Souliers by Arno Fabre, thirty pairs of shoes are programmed to stomp, scrape, and dance.
Reminiscent of a parade of soldiers at times and a mosh pit at others, Les Souliers is an uncanny exploration into the personality of an otherwise everyday object. The piece goes beyond the shoes themselves and explores the ubiquitous human gestures of walking, stomping, scraping – which usually go unnoticed – and its relationships to personality, emotion, and even ideas of conformity and individuality. I enjoy how one is able to invent his/her own narrative to go with each kind of shoe and the types of movements they make; I’m interested in this use of mundane materials used to create something otherworldly. Unfortunately, the mechanics seem to be the same for each shoe – maybe different mechanisms could be used to emphasize the unique sounds of, say, a flip flop or a heel. I am also undecided on whether the squeaking of the actual mechanics adds or detracts from the sounds of the shoes.