I have been long fascinated by the action of walking. As a traveller, walking and moving across landscapes is something that is in my blood. Three years ago, I bought an excellent book “Walkscapes: Walking as Aesthetic Practice” by Francesco Careri, which talks about the artistic and symbolic act of walking and maps out artistic strategies this mundane yet fundamental human activity, responsible for every single movement and displacement we do.
Walking is not just a transportation device but is fundamentally a way of thinking. The Greeks walked and talked philosophy. Much of modernist thought emerged from the act of walking in the city, more precisely in the city of Paris, where the flâneur, as immortalized by Baudelaire, is a defining subject that signals a defiition of the modern self, modern culture and the modern city. It is the negation of walking that also leads to increasingly dehumanized cities where rationalist plans centered on the use of the car make the primordial act of walking a nuisance and an aberration.
In December I am exhibiting together with Patricia Gouvêa in Rio de Janeiro in two-fold dual exhibition combining our photography of movements and patterns in urban spaces around the world and also an installation where we will comment on walking in a site-specific installation in a park. A strong constructivist and geometric impulse drives us to create these compositions. Yet, the underlying theme is the human drive to err, to discover to be constantly moving, but also to record the traces of one’s passage through space.
Isabel Löfgren, Walkscape #5, 2009
Patricia Gouvêa – Exercícios de Arte Lúdica #1 – 2005
Some words from Richard Long which help along the way.
I like the simplicity of walking,
the simplicity of stones.
I like common means given
the simple twist of art.
I choose lines and circles because they do the job.
My art is about working in the wide world,
wherever, on the surface of the earth.
My work is not urban, nor is it romantic.
It is the laying down of modern ideas
in the only practical places to take them.