FEET

"MEIN SCHWULES AUGE" (MY GAY EYE), GROUP EXHIBITION AND BOOK VERNISSAGE AT WERKSTATTGALERIE, BERLIN 2008
 

Our feet are literally the part of our body that grounds us; in evolution, it was upright walking that gave them their vital task. Yet to the extent that we have distanced ourselves from our feet in a purely spatial sense and have been able to turn our thoughts to the spiritual and virtual, the foot – the very foundation of all civilisation and culture – has been sidelined and almost forgotten. If we take this distance to mean estrangement and act accordingly, then the subject scarcely lends itself to consideration. At the same time, though, the foot – together with the hand – is the very body part that is easiest for us to consider in its entirety. What is more, approaching other people’s feet means crossing an unacknowledged boundary and, in fact, breaking a taboo. In Far Eastern cultures, for example, feet are revered and sacred, serving as the starting point for entire medical methods and treatments. Feet are also an intimate area. Not just intimate – as the pictures seek to show – but also and perhaps first and foremost an individual feature. They have a characteristic and recognisable identity. A person’s feet are as unique as their face. 

Text by Michael Vögtlin, Master of Arts in Design and freelance dramatic adviser