Inspiration is often found in our everyday observations. Deborah Czeresko found some in hers and created this piece which has shown in a variety of locations including Hudson Beach Glass Phila's window for the month of November.
An Installation By Deborah Czeresko
This installation is inspired by the urban phenomena of throwing shoes over power lines to create various sneaker groupings bounded only by the length of the laces and the length of the electrical wire. The glass installation creates a parallel with anonymous (outlaw) shoe-throwers yet formalizes their process to become art. “I am particularly attracted to forms created by the melding of intention with chance and randomness that is apparent in these weirdly morphed assemblages of sneakers,” says Czeresko. Czeresko’s sculpture capitalizes on object-accretion to meld intentionality with chance. Using discarded shoes to make molds, she and her team then blow glass into the molds and place the resulting glass shoes over a wire or pipe, hanging from their “laces”. “I love the idea that on the street various people collectively and anonymously create these colorful assemblages of shoes that many don’t consider art”, she comments, “Their results are almost always formally beautiful and original”. Interesting too, is there are conflicting mythologies explaining what the sneaker-accumulations mean. Some say they relate to gang culture, while others have said they mark illicit drug territory. Czeresko says. “To me, it’s a prime example of a piece of art that doesn’t necessarily belong in an art gallery because they can continue to grow outside where they spontaneously come to exist. It is a narrative of accumulation without a beginning or end. The dialog between a “shoefitti” artist and the site exists in the past, present and future simultaneously. When a person comes with a new pair of sneakers they never know where the first one was placed.”
The urban shoe aggregates, which are easily, marginalized as vandalism, on some levels thematically parallel the world of material centric art, which for the large part has been artistically segregated from the formalist art world. Czeresko’s glass sneakers are also seemingly in art limbo or purgatory, floating, they literally symbolize the question of categorization in the world of art with allegiances to outlaw art like graffiti with their material segregation and formalist art like painting because they are simultaneously specific yet violate the rules of intentional order. Paradoxically, glass has recently become a part of the larger vocabulary of contemporary art. As fabricating in glass has moved from a struggle for technique to complete freedom of expression, interest in this material for sculptural use has mushroomed in the fine art world. But, many people who work solely with glass are ghettoized and cannot show work outside of the glass community, some are happy, others are not. The shoefitti installation brings to light many of the issues inherent in that juxtaposition.
“I think it is finally a time when anything or nothing can be used to make art. Glass has been liberated to be just another one of those materials which can be used in the servitude of expression.” Czeresko began stretching material categorization with her participation in the first performative glass group the now defunct “B team” whose aim was to infuse the art world with the potential of glass and the glass world with the potential of art. She continues to push that boundary as a member of the collaborative group known as the “Burnt Asphalt Family” whose stated goal is to explore the links between the kitchen and the glass studio where they use the studio to recontextualize the meaning of both cooking and glassblowing.
Deborah Czeresko is a New York City artist who also is an accomplished glassblower and glassfabricator.