• Author : Mare Tralla
  • Duration : 3'10''
  • Original Title : Feltboots
  • English Title : Feltboots
  • Year : 2000


Bio : Born 1967 in Tallinn, Estonia, part of the former Soviet Union. Lives and works in London, England, United Kingdom and Tallinn, Estonia.
Description : The starting point to this video is an anecdote from the artist's childhood. Simplistically the work is an illustration of an anecdote, which asked a question: “Why do Russians wear feltboots?”. The answer was: “To silently sneak pass the Americans”. It bothered the artist great deal. How do they do it? How is it possible, that the Americans do not notice? She remembers fantasy images and confusion. Her childhood thinking missed the political irony and totally excluded the notions of Cold War. She was about seven at the time she first heard the story. It took her almost twenty years to start thinking about and understanding the different political layers of that simple joke. In this video she humorously acts out her childhood anecdote in the streets of Columbus, Ohio. She brings her fantasies to life and sneaks past the Americans in old soft Russian feltboots. The political situation has changed, there is no Cold War anymore, yet to the artist's surprise she discovers totally new meanings of alienation and political blindness. She is very successful in silently sneaking past the Americans, no one pays any attention. Eastern-Europeans have arrived, but it doesn't make any difference, briefly they occupy the space of aliens, before conforming to the Western/American ideal.

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