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Sculptural piece.
Endless Odyssey
EndlessOdyssey is a mixed medium work that investigatesideas about homelessness. Notions like a person having to carry all theirpossessions with them everywhere and nomadic lifestyle. The Bundle form hasbeen used to establish a sense of time since past and resourcefulness. Bundlesappear to me as being a thing of the past as many of the travelers and homelessI see today have backpacks and bags. People with no bags or suitcases have tobe resourceful in finding a way to carry all their possessions. This representstheir need to be resourceful with everything to survive.

The materials are vital in translating myideas across. I decided to use shoes, as they appear to be one of the mostimportant possession to a person who walks everywhere. To make this work Idismembered leather shoes and used their components. All of shoes I used had beenused and discarded; using these pre-loved objects highlights the idea ofstories and history behind the shoes. I endeavored to use the beauty of afunctional everyday object in a new unfamiliar situation. By using shoes tocreate a bundle I have removed their original function. Ironically during theperformance with the Endless Odyssey the actor did not wear shoes.

Leather shoes have unique associations; originalLeather shoes are well made and designed to last decades through the whims offashion. Often the shoes are passed down and repaired time and time again. Thedesign of good leather shoe has components allowing for replacements andrepairs. This idea of retaining an object through generations that enduresheavy use challenges the current economic, sociological and cultural values ofthe western world. Shoes that were once being passed down through generationsare now discarded. Many of the shoes I picked up from St Vincent de Paul didnot appear to have had heavy use. I received shoes from my family who werethrowing away school shoes that had worn out in 1 or 2 years. Rather thanrepairing them they were donated to me and replaced completely. The notion thatshoes are thrown away rather than getting repaired or are not worn often beforediscarded adds to my idea of our consumer culture.

Walking is the first and roughest form oftravel. Since the beginning of humanity we have travelled to hunt, gather andflee enemies. In the early stages of human history shoes came into existence; thisallowed the wearer to move over harder terrain and longer distances. Althoughcontested according to anthropologist Erik Trinkaus shoes were worn40,000 years ago, evident through the sudden lack of stress on the toes makethem smaller. Shoes represent the idea of travel and migration within my work
Endless Odyssey.

EndlessOdyssey is my object that explores the journey ofthe displaced traveler. Through looking at walking and carrying I was able todepict my growing understanding of the homeless, to see their constant strugglewithin our society.

40,000 Years Ago
Maggie Koerth-Baker
Date: 05 June 2008 Time: 05:02 AM ET
Gallery Presentation