Shoe Test

George Saxon

    Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchPerformance


    Shoe Test #2 is a 14.30 min video projection that combines moving image, text and durational performance. It was first shown as part of Coventry Peace Festival in 2011, with a subsequent screening at NoiseFloor Festival 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    The official url of the video requires a password. Please contact the artists George Saxon: for details. Artist's note: Shoe Test #2, (2010, video) is part of a larger body of proposed work evolved through moving image/text and durational performances.
    The Shoe Test project is a multifaceted enquiry into extreme endurance of forced labour at the former concentration camp at Sachsenhausen (now, Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum). The second in a series of tests which explore a forced, day long march of 40 kilometres, based on the testimonies of George Saxon’s father, who was made to run the circuit of the notorious 'shoe testing track', as part of a punishment unit at Sachsenhausen. The track was designed cynically to examine the durability of various types of materials for military footwear whilst forced to carry a pack of bricks, 30 kilos in weight for the duration. Shoe Test #2 is the prelude and preparation to the walk/run on the ‘shoe test’ track, towards a proposed series of actions, interspersed with cynical texts (attributed to Heinrich Himmler) which allude to the notion of moral excellence, conformity and conduct. The resulting moving image based work reveals Saxon’s interpretive ‘re-enactment’ of humiliation and submission.
    The project critically examines the primary site of exploration at Sachsenhausen (in liaison with the museum), namely the ‘Shoe Test track’ and the ‘roll call area’. The research project proposes a series of temporal works (as a series of interpretive ‘acts’) explored through durational performances, audience/community involvement and moving image works to be located on the site in Sachsenhausen. As ‘second generation’ child, Saxon proposes to piece together the complexities of that ‘generations’ experience and memories and asks the question, how do we as second generation continue to remember, translate and begin the process of ‘liberation’, through the ritual re-visiting of this site and its narratives; its current manifestations of memory, the wider interpretive translation of inter-generational trauma and its potential legacy for future generations. The proposed live relocation of ‘interpretive’ works interrogates the ‘manifestations’ of such sites, as memorials, sites of horror and sometimes our own morbid fascination. These exploratory ‘tests’ investigate endurance through live performance and video to include participatory workshops facilitated in liaison with the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen for 2013-14.
    George Saxon will be looking at various funding options with Marion Doyen to further facilitate the project and identify potential collaborators and partners.
    The official url of the video requires a password. Please contact the artist George Saxon: for details
    Rights holder: George Saxon
    Part of series: Sachsenhausen Memorial & Museum, Oranienburg, Germany/Various film festivals tba


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