“The geography of our consciousness of reality is one of complicated coastlines, lakes and rugged mountains.”
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, Serpents Tail: London 1991, pp.147
In perfect peripatetic timing with the exhibition at the Mead Gallery, Uncommon Ground, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat 18 Jan – Sat 8 Mar 2014 Walk On at the MAC celebrates 40 years of Art and Walking. The exhibition seeks to examine the myriad ways that artists “since the 1960’s have undertaken a seemingly universal act – taking a walk – as their means to create new types of art. The exhibition proposes that, across all four of the last decades, artists have worked as all kinds of explorers, whether making their marks on rural wildernesses or acting as urban expeditionaries. The exhibition brings together nearly 40 artists who all make work by undertaking a journey on foot. In doing so, they all stake out new artistic territories. Featured Artists include Francis Alÿs, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Julian Opie, Bruce Nauman, Marina Abramovic, Sophie Calle, Janet Cardiff, Melanie Manchot, Tim Robinson, Carey Young, Tim Brennan, Mike Collier, Brian Thompson, Alec Finlay, Chris Drury, Dan Holdsworth and Richard Wentworth to name a few.”
Artists have consistently used walking either as a methodology that posits walking as a concomitant act of production, as the means to the end, or the end in itself. These concurrent exhibitions partially map the current trajectory for research and my practice, which deals with different conceptions of site whether actual, physical (embodied), textual or fictional, the results of which are only partially represented on this blog. There are many books I could recommend for those interested in this topic (although the act of walking and research should remain crucially individuated). In the first instance I recommend Wanderlust: A History of walking, Verso Books 2002 and A Field Guide to Getting Lost both by Rebecca Solnit, Canongate Books 2010 as well The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane, Penguin 2012. For those in need of a heavier philosophical and historical hit The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History by Edward S.Casey 1997 situates the concept of place and its subordination to space, a debate with a long and complex history, within the framework of Contintental Philosophy. There is also an older post on this site Not all those who wander are lost, from the exhibition Wastelands to Wonderlands, Writing Britain, at the British Library 2012 which featured over 150 works of literature along with video, letters, diaries, sound recordings and manuscripts.
Text quoted from http://macbirmingham.co.uk/exhibition/walk-on/. Image reproduced from http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/theme-maps/literature.html. Accessed 06012014.