Sylvia Schwenk - Boots for Rising Waters

Boots for Rising Waters was first performed on the steps of the Dom Cathedral in Cologne as an elegant and subtle intrusion into the everyday life of the city where fashion and performance came together in the mode of contemporary allegory to bring attention to issues of climate change.

In this participatory work of performance art everyday people who used the public space where the performance was presented were invited to become performers. In the work, the performers transformed themselves from a group of individuals into a unified group of performers. They were dressed in short black clothing and modelled stylish but impractical high platform-gumboots that I designed as the latest footwear for global warming. The stacked soles of the boots range in height from ten to twenty-five centimetres – giving the wearer of the Boots the ability to choose a height that suits the water levels on any given day.

Boots for Rising Waters has been reperformed at the Blue Oyster Gallery, a project space in Dunedin NZ and at Artereal Gallery, a commercial gallery in Sydney, AU. The Boots themselves are presented as sculptural works in gallery spaces.