Anne Noggle: Crazy Feet

By Estelle Jussim

Feet are feet, aren't they? Well, not the way Anne Moggie photographs them. It takes a person with a dis­tinctly unbuttoned sense of humor, an unabashed notion of fun. and the physical agility to lie down on the floor with a camera to summon up such fantastic images of shoes, feet, ankles, knobby knee?, and unadorned shins. Anne Noggfe's crazy feet, you might call Ihem. and what daring she hasl It isn't every serious photog­rapher who permits herself such nights of fancy.
What can pictures of feel — pointy in their mono-toe pumps, stubby in klutzy sneakers, manly shoes, wom­anly shoes, nondescript yet formid­able toes — what can all these tell us? A surprising amount. By their shoes and the vanity of their "pedal extremities shall ye know them. Would you be willing to hoist your skirt or roll up your slacks to reveal such an intimate part of yourself? I'm not sure I would. Toes are toes are toes, and no wonder we hide them in boots! There are probably only a handful, or should I say a footful. of people in this world who can boast of having truly admirable toes. And which of us has the metatarsal arch that would send a genuine aesthete into a swoon? Or an ankle bone with the sublimity to inspire a sonnet' Feet are what most of us keep deter­minedly on the ground, and all of us comprehend what it means when we say "He hasn't got a Jeg to stand on." Not all of Moggie's pictures of shod feet evoke amusement. Some of the series make me Thoughtful, even sad. Human gestures and apparel are usually studied by cultural anthropol­ogists, but Anne Noggles pictures — all of them, not just this selection — are of such poetic intensity that they make us look a second and even a third time at the peculiarities of be­ing human. We are the animal that walks upright, with the technical know-how to manufacture every­thing from moccasins to Nikes. and we have created enough fetishes about feet and their coverings to fill several encyclopedia articles.
Take a moment. Consider with great care what these pictures repre­sent, and then ask yourself if you can ever again look a foot in the face.