Call It Fate, Call It Karma, 2015

Custom-made shoe, trousers. 140 cm in diameter, height 220 cm
Installation view: Places We Leave Behind / Slovene Writers’ Association
Curated by Hana Ostan Ožbolt
Photo: Jaka Babnik


In Call it fate, call it karma, we see a single shoe which neither foot may fit as a converging point of two legs in a pair of yellow trousers, impossibly sharing the same piece of footwear. Not only is this constellation painful to imagine, it also suggests a completely impractical and useless situation: neither left nor right, this post-ideological “centrist” shoe turns out to be a risky balancing act in brightly colored trousers. Like the fasces, the symbol of painful and deformed feet, in this case, caused by the intransigent shoe, is another frequently occurring allegory for the political, if we remind ourselves that this is precisely the meaning of this other character, King Oedipus (literally, “swollen feet”). As an infant, Oedipus’s ankles were pierced and bound together – made into a single left-right foot – to prevent him from crawling around. None of this, however, has prevented him from later killing his father and marrying his mother, thus bringing the plague upon Thebes. So perhaps the artist will allow us to rename Call it fate, call it karma “Oedipus’s shoe,” as one monstrous abbreviation of a sovereign career gone wayside.

Text: Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei