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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Beck's Future Show: Feet and shoes

This year’s Beck’s Future Show (London)has a strong theme of feet and shoes. Bedwyr Williams is a 6 ft 5 inches Welsh artist who takes size 13 shoes. As a teenager he experienced difficulties in finding shoes to fit and when he did, they were dull and uninteresting. His exhibition piece is collage of 40 pairs of shoes, entitled Walk a Mile in My Shoes. He collected the shoes together from eBay and various other sources, all size 13 and presents them in a mock up shoe shop. Every pair has a label, giving the artist’s personal experience with the shoes. Contained within are his army boots in which Williams had his first serious anxiety attack. The artist’s ambition is to wear zany shoes to exhibition openings as a mark of freedom from his teenage neurosis. Williams is also interested in getting involved in the design aspect of shoes, keen to fuse induit shoes with clogs, to create new forms of footwear. On the theme of feet, Richard Hughes’ contribution is a big, grave-like footprint made out of bricks, mortar and allotment earth. The dancers depicted in Seb Patane 's tableau-like video stagger wear Alpine costume, berets decorated with pheasant feathers and neat walking shoes. In Matt Stokes' 16mm film, Long After Tonight , lingers lovingly over the dancing pumps and two-stepping brogues of the participants in a Northern Soul night in a church in Dundee. Jamie Shovlin's display of memorabilia of the non-existent "West Berlin noise band" Lustfaust continues the artist's interest in the Borgesian fake library. Part of which in one of the vitrines includes an unsavoury pair of old Adidas sneakers. Beck's Futures 2006 is at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London SW1 (020-7930 3647), until May 14. Further exhibitions at the CCA Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (0141-352 4900 ), from April 8-May 14; and at the Arnolfini, Bristol (0117-917 2300), from April 13-May 14

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