“I keep thinking about crocodile boots. I imagine a tracking shot where the camera follows a girl, about 30, who is carrying a pair of boots in one hand like a bag. She’s walking along a river. A mangrove landscape with trees and roots. The boots are practically ‘alive’. They have to be taken for a walk along the river, these crocodiles ... ”
Cécile Paris, Crocodylus Ferragamo, video, 2'55", commissioned from the artist, 2008
is an artist who has lived and worked since 1970 in France. Her gaze sweeps the fields of our daily spaces: a country road, a building facade, a town and all sorts of other seemingly anodyne objects. Her films and photographs provide us with a plethora of ways of reading them, most often resulting in a feeling of hypnotic strangeness. Night-time in Nantes inspired her, for an exhibition at the Lieu Unique in 2008, while Kassel’s Kasseler Kunstverein in Germany was running her vision of « Ready-to-wear/Prêt-à porter ». For Crocodylus Ferragamo, born of a meeting between the artist and the famous Italian fashion house, Cécile Paris invites us to watch a pair of crocodile boots being taken out for a walk along a river.
I must have been five years old. It was a pair of rubber boots, yellow, with a thin dark blue line. You can still get them today. My brother had the blue version with a thin yellow line. I preferred mine though. My brother always wanted to steal them from me when we went fishing with my father at the weekend.
A pair of Camargue boots. I was fourteen years old and just adored these boots. They really made a particular kind of noise when you walked. They made me feel very confident. I still love them.
Choosing a pair of boots is complicated. I would like to have the same ones always and just wear them out. I like the idea that they just keep going and they get to see the world with me.
Photography of the artist by Adrienne Alcover