URGENT, 2020

URGENT, a new fashion line by artist and Director of Behaviour Michael Portnoy, is launching at Wilfried Lentz with the Spring 2020 collection of ugly and ridiculously expensive ceramic Tactical Trainers, upper-body-sized Industrial Felt Emblem Necklaces, and White Mutes (imagine the thing you stick in a trumpet to mute it, but for annoying white people’s mouths).
URGENT wearables and unwearables not only address the most urgent issues of our time, they employ front-line technology to take direct action: sniffing out ancient pathogens, enforcing moral imperatives, fact-checking, chemically instilling empathy, terraforming, and quantum-mining asteroids.
Click here for a review on the work in CFA.
Michael Portnoy
The Tekton Bafflers, 2020
Formed by an array of overlapping baffles, this rapid response trainer acts as a reflector for social fissures, amplifying their reverberations until feedback occurs and temporarily resetting retrograde thought patterns.
Ceramics, leather shoestrings, 28 x 14 cm x 16 cm, unique
MP2020-01
Michael Portnoy,
The 16 Psyche Gluttons, 2020
The asteroid 16 Psyche is said to have enough gold and platinum to make everyone on earth a billionaire. But why wait in poverty until we reach the asteroid belt to mine it? These shoes send out gold guzzling NanoWhales© on the quantum ocean to gulp down gold ions from 16 Psyche and bring them back to the wearer. In only five years of daily wear, the shoe will become fully encrusted with gold and must then be submitted to a governing body in Luxembourg which redistributes the wealth fairly around the world. Ceramics, 30 x 12 cm x 14 cm, unique
MP2020-02
Michael Portnoy
URGENT, 2019
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photo Robert Glas
Michael Portnoy
The Veracity Footgoggles, 2020
How to function in a world where facts are increasingly harder to discern? The Veracity Footgoggles let the user feel their way through the ambiguity by gently stroking the sole of the foot in the presence of truth and causing a quick muscle cramp for lies. Ceramics, shoestrings, 30 x 11 cm x 24 cm, unique
MP2020-03
Michael Portnoy
The Permafrost Warden, 2020
This self-heating Arctic-ready shoe sniffs out ancient pathogens which have recently come back to life in the melting permafrost and instantly irradiates them with UV light. Ceramics, shoestrings, 31 x 12 x 10 cm, unique
MP2020-04
Michael Portnoy
The SadoMoral Binders, 2020
No wonder why we can’t fix anything that’s wrong with this world when we are constantly distracted. The Moral Ribs® in the front of the shoe each function as different physically binding moral imperatives. If the wearer strays from the path of any of these imperatives throughout the day, the shoe tightens around the foot making it impossible to move. Ceramics, shoestrings, 36 x 15 cm x 13 cm, unique
MP2020-05
Michael Portnoy,
The RequiEmpath Stampede 9000s, 2020
We will not mourn the death of empathy! Together we will joyously stomp our hopeful feet and charge the horizon for the promise of mutual understanding! The purple veins of these mad-hideousTM shoes course with oxytocin which is absorbed into the blood of the viewer instilling a sense of proto-kinship with people you’d usually abhor. Ceramics, acrylic paint, shoestrings, 30 x 11 cm x 8 cm, unique
MP2020-06
Michael Portnoy
The MantaData Demissioners, 2020
We all know that data pollution is the number one cause of both global warming and psychological irritability. Now there’s a trainer that can drastically reduce all your emissions to just one piece of data per day. The revolutionary MantaDataTM sieve filters out all your useless off-gassing, preserving just the most essential kernel of immateriality which you can proudly embrace as your day’s work. Ceramics, acrylic paint, shoestrings, 32 x 15 cm x 10 cm, unique
MP2020-07
Michael Portnoy
The Grativas Airslickers, 2020
There is nothing worse than feeling unseen, unimportant, weightless. The Gluon tongue agitates strong force particles forming Capton micro-filaments around the wearer, imparting you with an undeniable charisma and gravitas. Ceramics, acrylic paint, shoestrings, 30 x 15 cm x 12 cm, unique
MP2020-08
Michael Portnoy
The Glissando Terraformers, 2020
The first formal trainers designed to be worn on the surface of Mars. The black photoactive surface absorbs solar energy to harvest algae which is excreted through the yellow glissando soles allowing the wearer to glide on the planet’s surface. The algae in turn pumps out oxygen to thicken the planet’s atmosphere eventually making it habitable. Ceramics, gold paint, synthetic rubber, shoestrings, 34 x 12 cm x 13 cm, unique
MP2020-09
Michael Portnoy
White Mute (Heavy), 2020 Ceramics, 38 x 14 cm x 4 cm, unique
MP2020-10
Michael Portnoy
White Mute (Light), 2020 Ceramics, 41 x 15 cm x 2 cm, unique
MP2020-11
Michael Portnoy,
White Mute (Heavy), 2020
Ceramics, 31 x 12 cm x 9 cm, unique
MP2020-12
Michael Portnoy
URGENT, 2019
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photo Robert Glas
Michael Portnoy
Justice smothered in her sleep by her mother, Europe, 2020
felt, wood, 66 x 40 x 10 cm(MP2020-15)
Michael Portnoy
Ecology sprinkling salt in Immigration’s wounds, 2020
felt, wood, 64 x 41 x 10 cm (MP2020-17)
Michael Portnoy
URGENT, 2019
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photo Robert Glas
Michael Portnoy
Politics picking apart Perception’s corpse, 2020
felt, wood, 40 x 85 x 10 cm (MP2020-21)
Michael Portnoy
Radicality running laps around Memory in a supercollider, 2020
felt, wood, 66 x 35 x 10 cm (MP2020-14)
Michael Portnoy
URGENT, 2019
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photo Robert Glas
Michael Portnoy
Truth digging through Maculinity’s dirty laundry, 2020
felt, wood, 82 x 33 x 10 cm (MP2020-13)
Michael Portnoy
The Body stage diving onto Gender’s dancefloor, 2020
felt, wood, 95 x 61 x 10 cm (MP2020-19)
Michael Portnoy
URGENT, 2019
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photo Robert Glas
Michael Portnoy
Nationalism playing footsie with Neoliberalism, 2020
felt, wood, 66 x 39 x 10 cm (MP2020-18)
Michael Portnoy
Oppression suckling on History’s breast, 2020
felt, wood, 81 x 32 x 10 cm (MP2020-20)
Michael Portnoy
Narrative hyperventilating over Identity’s shoulder, 2020
felt, wood, 95 x 56 x 10 cm (MP2020-16)