“Laboratory 12,” a new exhibition of footwear, highlights current geopolitical issues through abstract political statements using X-rays.
The artwork by Benjamin John Hall is on display April 22 through July 16 at Fashion Space Gallery at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.
The gallery features seven pairs of shoes and other objects that illustrate espionage and assault tactics employed by worldwide security organizations. Psychological warfare, concealed recording devices and assassination techniques are among the themes explored.
Among Hall’s pieces, his Kompromat shoe features white goat leather with gloss Italian box calf, gunpowder fuse trim and printed components. The internal design, exposed by X-ray technology, reveals an electric match heel and Coke can detonator.
In collaboration with architects, engineers and other designers, Hall’s footwear is fully functioning and wearable.
The footwear highlights a specific concept unearthed through Hall’s extensive research into offensive tactics used by various security agencies worldwide.
Hall’s art symbolizes the extent to which government agencies have eliminated dissenters and enemies of the state by manipulating media and hiding truths from the public through psychological warfare and concealed devices.
The exhibition’s title “Laboratory 12” shares the name of the KGB’s secret poison laboratory, which was established in 1921 to develop colorless, tasteless and odorless poisons that could not be detected post-mortem. It is believed that Soviet agencies used poisons to knock off state enemies.