Red Shoe Reader


Gaza Bowen

Red Shoe Reader, 1992


Red Shoe Reader, by Gaza Bowen, explores the history of women's footwear as a symbol of female sexualization. Texts and illustrations from multiple cultures are used to demonstrate the virtually universal "crippling" of the female body. Such practices include Chinese foot binding, the use of chopines in fifteenth century Europe, the use of getas in Japan, and the modern prevalence of the high-heeled shoe as a cultural emblem of feminine sexuality and repression. 

Red Shoe Reader is printed on double leaves and folded in an accordion style. It contains digitally printed text and pasted illustrations. The front and back covers are fashioned to a red high-heeled shoe.