Soft Cover, German, Glue Binding, 32 Pages, 2007
Rote Socken in St. Petersburg
The context is Russian. Topical. The country on everyone’s lips! Steinbrecher had gone to the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, and littered the place with his ‘embassy’ of red socks.
Red connotes protest, revolution, a shout out for change. But in this era of ‘crisis’—i.e., no protest, but just a steady gaze-malaise of disbelief—red is about as revolutionary as my big toe. And red socks? They’re about as anti-protest red as you can get. Red socks are worn by that man with Budapesters. Red-sock-wearers seem to be daring. They are the guys who waltz into the cafe with silk-scarf flair calling out, Cappuccino! Red socks, however, are worn by those (like myself) who have an extreme need to impress their personality into the world. Tacky, loud, ladder-climbing rats. Red-socks-wearers didn’t get enough attention as a child (or perhaps too much). I don’t know if Erik Steinbrecher wears red socks. If he does, then we can throw this whole take in the garbage. This is the man, after all, who left red socks in the Hermitage, the bastion of fine arts, culture, connaissance, connoisseurdombombasticity. At least they weren’t dirty.