Installation of 2,949 pairs of shoes, fourteen meters in diameter, Nuit Blanche, Paris, 2012.


As the poet Jason Stoneking, who helped install this piece at the Palais de la Découverte in Paris, for Nuit Blanche 2012, wrote in his beautiful text : “ To get straight to the point, Markus’s work… It’s about living. And more, it’s about existing. It’s about inhabiting a reality in which the lives and deaths of people and objects are only cyclical refrains that swell and continue forever. As we all return to the ground to fertilize the future, so do our possessions. So do our ideas. There is nothing here so vulgar or morbid as fatalism. On the contrary, it’s the greatest and oldest kind of across-the-board, non-denominational comfort. It is the notion that we are part of the eternal ”.

The eternity invoked here has more to do with the harmonics of the infnite nuances that make us up, that bring us together and slip away from us at the same time. At its frst public showing, for which I’ll here take a moment to thank Laurent Lebon, my friend Jason and I were able to contemplate this piece from above, and what struck us was the cosmic order of stellar attraction. As astronomers have recently pointed out, a large number of the atoms in our bodies were born in the stars, so perhaps human organisms themselves might reveal something of the harmonics from these newly discovered origins.

This fade, like a grayscale rainbow, is designed to illustrate the paradoxical coexistence of our sense of wonder and our bitter entrenchment in the trivialities of our lives and in the little diversities between our temporary forms. By rising above the odor of these leathers that have been infused with our efforts and deformed by all the footfalls of our journeys, we may also rise to a level of acceptance, where we can allow ourselves to sink peacefully, once and for all, into the cosmic order. And then this chromatic organization becomes a kind of collective mantra, a soothing vibration that helps us come to more harmonious terms with the wear and tear of our lives.

Sophie Boursat

Download Fade by Jason Stoneking

Shoes fade (2012)