Every morning, once we are awake,  we performs daily acts that return cyclically day after day. You open your eyes, stretch your arms and then get out of bed. Käsebrotlatschen (2022) could be a new prototype of slipper that welcomes the foot after waking up, or the continuation of an extravagant dream that also extends into the morning routine and like in a story by Cortázar let us slip into an unexplored territory between reality and fiction.

Andrea Karl, a young German artist, enjoys designing these surreal shoes, which have become a sculpture: by reproducing slippers on a 1:1 scale using plastic and silicone, she transfigures them by replacing its components with elements that would normally be found at the breakfast table and not at our feet. The sole is a well-toasted slice of bread on which butter has been spread, the upper band that keeps the foot warm and safe is instead a slice of Emmental cheese (perforated, to improve skin perspiration). The final result is a reproduction with saturated colors and a materiality very close to real raw materials, so much so that we can consider this sculpture a real example of Japanese Sampuru applied however to the world of footwear and not to food. And who doesn’t like a brand new pair of Käsebrotlatschen? Karl playing with the ready made (which in this case is no longer ready as it is a sculpture created ad hoc by the artist) and with the ferocious consumerism that is rampant in every aspect of everyday life, she seems to wink at an artistic system that prefers the product, transfiguring art in favor of a commercialization. The object/sculpture then becomes an unexplored territory in which fantastic visions, criticism of consumerism and also of waste (we are so saturated with food choices that we can afford to put them at our feet) and the mixture of different artistic languages, propose to the observer a moment of reflection that does not exclude irony and amusement.

The stratification of readings and interpretations, as well as material layers that actually form the work, returns in the title left by the artist in German. The characteristics of this language allow for a real sandwhich of words: cheese – bread – flippers. By simplifying the visual language, Andrea Karl brings it back to a daily, morning use. In these simple gestures, however, it is possible to discover the cultural heritage, be it the ready-made or the Dada, applied to current consumerist dynamics. Käsebrotlatschen is the sleepy but punctual thought of the early hours of the morning, the flash of genius which, in its essentiality, contains much more than what appears.

Andrea Karl
Käsebrotlatschen, 2022
Object, two pieces, 8 x 24 x 26 cm, rubber and silicone
Installation view at the Annual Exhibition of Akademie der Bildenden Künste München
Courtesy the artist © Lisa Holzapfel