Stiletto Is A Dagger!

Bronze
2019
312 × 312 cm

Alice Folker Gallery, 2020

Photography by David Stjernholm

Intended to be installed on plinths, the series ​Stiletto is a Dagger​ consists of four stilettos and one Buffalo shoe, all moulded in bronze. The stiletto shoes present themselves to the viewer on long stems: sprues left over from the molding process. This part of the sculptural objects functions as a comment on the elevation of objects to artworks, when placed in a certain context. The high heeled shoe as an object already contains this theme, but by exaggerating the height of the heel and adding stalks to the sole, further attention is drawn to it. The integrated pedestals simultaneously ridicule the plinths artworks are typically installed on, and​ ​makes the viewer aware of how placing seemingly pedestrian objects within art institutions automatically makes us catalogue them as works of art. The objects also playfully question the functionality of artworks, since the image of a person wearing this dysfunctional footwear is rather absurd.

Stilettos are part of the uniform and feminine choreography of businesswomen, and play an important role in drag communities, where the shoe symbolizes illusion, transition, and gender-queering. Playing on the double meaning of the word, (​stiletto​ originates from a diminutive word of the Italian word for dagger: ​stilo​), ​Stiletto is a Dagger​ also references weaponry, as does the name of the footwear itself.

One of the stilettos in the series is resting on bronze roses, playing on​ ​the Danish proverb: (livet er ikke altid) en dans på roser/ (life is not always) a dance on roses, working as a symbol of something very easy and romantic. This further underlines the theme of the relation between shoes and flowers, as the elongated stems of the high heeled shoes become poetically flower- or plantlike, contrasting the heavy weight of bronze as a material.