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On View

Cheri Gaulke

Peep Totter Fly

This 4-channel window installation depicts a variety of legs—male, female, shaved, hairy—in red, high-heeled shoes clumsily traversing natural environments.

Cheri Gaulke . Peep Totter Fly, 2011/2019. Video still.

Peep Totter Fly was first exhibited in 2011 as an interactive installation. Gallery visitors were presented with a wall of red high heels to wear. With sizes 5-15, large enough for most men and women, many had their first experience walking in high heels, thus challenging their fantasies about the experience. The video was the installation’s centerpiece. To create the video, Gaulke traveled to a variety of Los Angeles locations, braved 115-degree temperatures in Death Valley, and strutted through the stark volcanic landscape of Iceland.

Since the late 1970s, Gaulke has created performances, films, audio works, sculptures and artist’s books using women’s footwear to explore mobility in society, gender as performance, and to critique power relationships based on class and gender.

Peep Totter Fly was originally commissioned by Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions for Pacific Standard Time, sponsored by the Getty. Gaulke is delighted to re-imagine the work for the Storefront Window Gallery. As Seattle viewers walk past, she hopes they will reconsider this odd custom of balancing atop a tiny spike as a signifier of eroticism and gender.


About the Artist

Cheri Gaulke is a pioneer in the feminist art movement in Los Angeles working in film and visual art. Her films have screened in film festivals internationally and she has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), in a Smithsonian-touring exhibition, and in settings all over the world including buses, churches, and prehistoric temples. Gaulke’s recent film, Gloria’s Call, screened in over 35 film festivals and won Best Documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Gaulke’s current project is a feature-length documentary called Acting Like Women: Performance Art and the Woman’s Building, about Southern California in the 1970s-80s.