Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Apex Predator

The other day, while I was looking for shoes online (never have enough shoes) I found a weird pair of shoes that don't seem too practical.

They are the Apex Predator shoes by Fantich and Young, an art-and-installation duo coming out of London. I am going to assume these shoes are a piece of art not meant to be worn, considering at the very least how painstaking it must have been to get all those teeth on there (not to mention the hard work of pulling them out of their original homes). But I kid, the teeth are made of dentures...1,050 fake teeth to be exact.

Now, you may be wondering exactly what an apex predator is. In the words of the creators;
Apex predators are predators with no predators of their own, residing at the top of their food chain.
That's literally the entire description of the piece. Nothing more. I love those kinds of descriptions; they let you come to your own conclusions about what art and design mean to you. And what's more, I get to tell you all about what I think this lovely pair of shoes represents.

Who do you think is the apex predator of our current lives? I'm going with the obvious answer of humans, but I want to take it a little further. What sort of human do you imagine would wear shoes such as these? I see a disgruntled businessman, possibly sporting a gold tooth in his mouth to match the set under his feet. He cares not for those below him, who he may have had to step over on his way to the top. I believe these shoes represent the business man of the first world, profiting off of the impoverished and desolate souls who wish they had one tenth of his worth. The teeth belong to those souls, who are forced to support this man and are trapped in a state of eternal slavery.

Using human artefacts (or even the human body itself) as tools in art makes a poignant statement. Connections feel more easily made and less contrived when using materials that anyone in the world is familliar with. We all had teeth at some point in our lives, and we all know the shape of a foot (even if some of us have never seen a shoe of this style before). This kind of art can also stand the test of time, that is until humans evolve past the state we know now, like Cassandra from Doctor Who. But on the plus side, she looks a lot like an artist's canvas now!

The last human alive, but she isn't really human anymore.

If you want to see more art involving the human body in many gross ways, visit Fantich and Young's website.

And while you're at it, listen to this song about the evil businessman.

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