The exhibition “Le Constat”, running at the Cité du Temps from March 14 to April 15 2013, presents treats for the feet and the eyes. A total of 34 local artists, covering a spectrum of disciplines, have focused their highly diverse talents and techniques on transforming pieces of footwear into some of the wildest creations. The 25 pairs of trainers on display are set to convince visitors that shoes can talk as well as they can walk. Some of the work tells complete stories, while other pieces play with material and textures to invite the imagination to meander independently along totally new paths.


Sculptors, graphic designers, architects, cartoonists, designers, musicians, contemporary artists, couturiers and graffiti artists of international reputation unite in this project, with their Geneva origins forming a common denominator. Their creative palette embraces such components as porcelain, Lego, ceramic, cardboard – their “canvas” is always the surface of a trainer. Whole new worlds and unexpected dimensions unfold against this background. One artist has used the shoe as the stage for a hiking trip in the mountains, complete with cows, and for a beach scene where bronzed boys and babes hang out around a palm tree. Other inspirations include a crunchy waffle, a flower-packed meadow and meteorological elements ranging from a rainbow to a fluffy white cloud. Teasing the onlooker’s intellect, one provocative artist has literally turned the subject upside down and converted the said sneaker into a sewing machine – a sort of chicken and egg puzzle from the world of clothing manufacture.

The use of the trainer as the subject for “Le Constat” tells its own story. This piece of footwear strides effortlessly across the sometimes large distance between function and fashion. It also characterizes the origin and characteristics of various social groups, while remaining truly faithful to a society on the move. All of these possibilities have visibly inspired the commissioned artists – and visitors are likely to follow in their footsteps as they encounter the results of the individual creative journeys. The show at the Cité du Temps constitutes the first time that the artists in the project have presented their work together. The exhibition will tour and the six years of creativity it captures have also been preserved in a book of the same title in a full-color, trilingual edition.

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