Tall OrderThe hidden depths of height.

Tall OrderThe hidden depths of height.

Issue 51

, Starters

,

Arts & Culture

  • Words Róisín Lanigan
  • Photo Michael Oliver Love

The German artist Hans Hemmert’s 1997 artwork Level had a simple premise: What if everyone was the exact same height? To bring this utopian, albeit banal, dream to life, the artist created 50 pairs of platform shoes out of rubber and Velcro, with each platform measuring between two and 17 inches high. When guests arrived at the installation, created for Galerie Gebauer’s Personal Absurdities exhibition in Berlin, they chose a pair that would ensure they were level with everyone else in the room. 

The simplicity of the premise is part of its brilliance. Until you see everyone at the same height, you don’t realize that at every party you’ve ever been to, half the room has been craning up, and the other half hunching down, to try to reach some kind of equilibrium. But Level is not...

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