Titolo a parte, SCARPERENTOLA é un libro piacevole (Idea Books - 1993): raccoglie opere di artisti italiani e stranieri a cui é stato chiesto di interpretare "la scarpa". Tolte poche eccezioni, tutte le opere sono state commissionate da Samuele Mazza (ex designer ora decoratore d'interni), curatore del libro e della mostra.

Scarperentola é arricchito da alcuni saggi; uno in particolare - quello del critico d'arte Giuliano Serafini - offre spunti interessanti: analizza il ruolo della calzatura e si domanda se possa essere considerata un archetipo; cerca connessioni con filosofia, mitologia e soprattutto arte. E prende pure una cantonata. Enorme. Questa.

"Pur nel suo denotante simbolico, la scarpa non ha però ancora toccato un livello così significante da permettersi una centralità nella rappresentazione; una parte, diciamo, da protagonista assoluta. A promuoverla in questo senso e a fissarne per sempre l'identità profonda sarà la psicoanalisi che punta sulla chiave metonimica - dal contenuto al contenente, dal piede alla scarpa - fino a individuarne lo specifico sessuale-feticistico del referente. [omissis] 
Dalla psicoanalisi all'arte il passo é breve. Questo passo lo farà Magritte, che in Le Modèle Rouge avverte l'assurdo di una convenzione sociale e metamorfizza la scarpa in piede [omissis]"

Sarà il "denotante simbolico" o "la chiave metonimica", fatto sta che Giuliano Serafini si é dimenticato di Vincent Van Gogh che mezzo secolo prima di Magritte ha portato la "centralità nella rappresentazione" della scarpa.

E qui termina il prologo.


Apart from the title, SCARPERENTOLA [*] is a nice book (Idea Books, 1993): it's the catalogue of the exposition of the same name and it features works - commissioned by curator/ex designer Samuele Mazza - by Italian and foreign artists under the common theme of "the shoe". We found an interesting thing in the accompanying text by historian Giuliano Serafini: he wonders if the shoe can be considered an archetype; he searches for connections between philosophy, mythology and art. And he falls flat. Read on.

"Despite the amazing range of symbolic connotations, shoes had not yet attained a sufficient level of importance to become central protagonists in the portrayal; let's say to deserve a starring role. Psychoanalysis, tending to metonymy, became the driving force that moved shoes in this direction, establishing once and for all their deep underlyining identity - from contents to container, from foot to shoe - to the point of singling out their specific sexual and fetishistic aspect. [omission] 
From psychoanalysis to art is an easy step to make. And this step was taken by Magritte, who - in Le Modele Rouge - sensed the absurdity of a social convention, and metamorphosed the shoe into the foot [omission].

It might have been the "symbolic connotations" or maybe too much "metonymy", but our man simply forgot Vincent Van Gogh who gave the shoe a starring role, half a century before Magritte.

End of the prologue.

1935 René Magritte | Le Modèle Rouge/The Red Model


Especially since it may have been Martin Heidegger who made the very statement I mentioned a long while ago, about anxiety being the fundamental mood of existence.
So that what he surely would have admired about Van Gogh to begin with would have been the way Van Gogh could make even a pair of boots seem to have anxiety in them. 
Wittgenstein's Mistress (1988)

1885 | Still Life With Earthenware, Bottle and Clogs
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Netherlands
Source: WikiPaintings

1886 | A Pair Of Shoes
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

1886 | A Pair Of Shoes
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

1886 | Three Pair Of Shoes
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University

When it comes to it, there are very few subjects. Everybody repeats them. Venus and Cupid becomes the Virgin and Child, then a Mother and Child, but it’s always the same subject. To invent a new subject must be wonderful. Take Van Gogh. His potatoes – such an everyday thing. To have painted that – or his old boots! That was really something.

Pablo Picasso
(From The Success And Failure Of Picasso by John Berger - Pantheon Books, 1989)

1886-1887 | Pair Of Shoes
Private collection

1887 | A Pair Of Boots
Baltimore Museum Of Art

1888 | Shoes
Metropolitan Museum Of Art, NY

1881 - 1885 | VINCENT VAN GOGH

1832 - 2011

1889 | A Pair Of Leather Clogs |
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Infine: secondo Van Gogh, la scarpa era il simbolo della problematica condizione dei lavoratori.

And finally: according to Van Gogh the shoe was a symbol of the hard life of the workers.


From SCARPE (shoes) and CENERENTOLA (Cinderella); so it also could be SHOESELLA (and it sucks as much as in Italian).