Felt pads

  • felt, nails, plastic
  • 13 x 13 x 13 cm
  • sonia e barrett

In performing furniture, I noticed that many of the pieces that I work with have nailed on felt pads. These pads serve to prevent the floor from getting marked when the furniture is pushed around the room. They also serve to silence the noise the furniture makes when it is moved. I decided this is an interesting metaphor for the movement of people that are often seen as secondary to the ground on which they are standing. Some individuals are understood as potentially damaging to the public or private area in which they stand; such people might be asked to move along quietly by authorities. Some individuals are moved quietly and secretly across borders their "noise" is not wanted. In 2013 I started to make human-sized felt feet. This is one of a series of 130 pairs. I chose the European unlucky number 13. I chose this number because often in conversations migrants that get pushed around in this way were simply seen as "unlucky " people without considering the problem that the ground of the nation state is being privileged over the person. It is being protected at great pain to the individual. The continuum of pain that would be achieved by someone wearing these is huge, but tucked under the soles of the feet the cause of the pain would be undecipherable. In this way someone could be in a great deal of pain in an unfathomable way. I think this is a way into the pain of "the other" in general.

Felt pads
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