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Friday, 2 December 2016

2016: The Year of the Shoe!

all images Catherine Balet

Ok, so we all know that 2016 was the Year of the Shoe?

In some ways, the Shoe took over from the twig, the rock, and the reaching hand as photography's favourite trope.  And we all know that literally hundreds of photobooks were made on the subject.

From Spain we had From Sock to Shoe ('Del calcetín para el Zapato' is the original title, a great allegory on the current economic crisis and,  the globalisation of the shoe industry), from Italy we had Le Scarpe Odore (The Shoes Smell), an allegory of self-loathing linked to the decline of the Roman Empire as manifested in the impending financial crash, from the USA we had Left Shoe Right Shoe (an allegory on the ways in which arbitrary labels are imposed on our personal, political and economic worlds realised through a journey across the MidWest that is explored through the semiotics of the American road.

all images Catherine Balet except the one by me

Last but not least, from France we had Catherine Balet's Looking for the Master in Ricardo's Golden Shoes, Which is a re-staging of famous photographers using Ricardo Martinez Paz. The book, says the blurb, '..questions the dematerialisation of the photograph as well as the nature of authorship in the process of re-creation.'

Mmm, maybe, but that tone of voice leaves me reaching for the razors. Can we rephrase it please because I get the feeling the book is a lot more dynamic than that. It's a celebration of photography, of life, and of Golden Shoes.

Viva Ricardo! Viva Catherine. Viva los zapatos de oro!

Buy the book here

Er, why not Truman Capote!

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