the space between our toes
Rosie Benn, Shobha Untersteiner,
Dialogical art practice, process based work,
Mz* Baltazar's Laboratory, Vienna, AT
Feet can be thought of as a person's foundation. They can create stability, security and autonomy. However, the shoes that we wear and the situations we walk in may also form the shape of our toes under pressure and constraint. This foot therapy appeals to collective practise, and it doesn't stop with a pedicure. Embracing process and continuing it into the gallery space, as a dialogical meeting point for exchange*. ‘the space between our toes’ draws on both metaphorical and actual connections between the impracticality and instability amongst job sectors, as well as the shoes that are lived in by women* *. Looking also for alternative modes of being and doing, we turn to Silvia Federici’s proposals of re-enchantment*. Her descriptions of commoning are a point of
inspiration for reflecting on and through art process and our everyday life. A semi-starting, rather than an ending point, it's a go at making remedies for the isolating aspects of making art and living in current structures.
* Arte Útil is made with the hope and belief that something may be done better, even when the conditions for it to happen may not be
there yet’, Tanja Bruguera <https://www.taniabruguera.com/cms/592-0-Reflexions+on+Arte+til+Useful+Art.htm> [accessed 27 January
Dialogical aesthetics as coined by Grand Kester identifies, among others, the conversational as a form of art practise, of which can be verbal,
contextual and/or situational. See Conversation Pieces - Community and Communication in Modern Art, (University of California Press, 2004).
For further expansion on this form, see discursive ethics, as described by Martin Krenn, chapter On the Democratization of Art pp.261-281,
within ‘Urban Citizenship’, edited by Martin Krenn, Katharina Morawek, for the Verein the Shedhalle, (VfmK, Verlag fur Moderne Kunst,
2017). <https://www.academia.edu/42650314/On_the_Democratization_of_Art> [accessed 18 May 2021].
** Studies show that women are still responsible for around 75% of all unpaid domestic work, 'World Employment Social Outlook Trends for
Women, 2018 Global Snapshot', (International Labour Organization, ((PRODOC) of the ILO, 2018)
<https://www.ilo.org/global/research/global-reports/weso/trends-for-women2018/WCMS_619577/lang--en/index.htm>; [accessed 30
In Austria alone, since the Corona crisis, an additional 65.000 people lost their jobs, of which 85% were women.’, ÖGB
Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, APA OTS, ‘ÖGB-Schumann: 85 Prozent aller Corona-Arbeitslosen sind Frauen’, Vienna, Corinna
Bürgmann MA (14. July 2020) <https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20200714_OTS0032/oegb-schumann- 85-prozent-aller-corona-
arbeitslosen-sind-frauen> [accessed 14 June 2021].
*** In this context, commons are both objectives and conditions of our everyday life and struggles. In an embryonic form, they represent the
social relations we aim to achieve, as well as the means for their construction.’ Silvia Federici, with foreword by Peter Linebaugh, Re-
enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons, (PM Press, 2018)