“Walking is the right speed to understand” - Frédéric Gros
This exhibition dialogs with Frédéric Gros’ book "A Philosophy of Walking".
Nine Brazilian artists are part of this ‘procession’. Their works relate to or incorporate concepts explored in the book – such as strolling, repetition, nature, presence, and the urban landscape.
In Sandra Jávera and Alfonso Simelio’s mobile Stepped Gravity, 2016, we get a sense of the effortlessness of walking and its repetitive, fluid and monotonous movement. As dull as it can be, it is never tiresome. It may become a visual mantra in the same way that walking can be done for nothing: just to connect us to the pace of time passing.
Gustavo Prado presents us with Untitled, Contortionist series, 2016, reinterpretations of Lygia Clark’s participatory Bichos. They remind us of the traces a path leaves behind or a trail to follow. “To get there you must walk: walking in itself, as it takes time, establishes presence”, states Gros. They represent both endless possibility and the cycle of repetition.
Talita Zaragoza takes long walks herself in order to reach the places she photographs. The photo So Long, 2016 was taken this summer in Alaska and seems like the perfect conclusion of a hike. As Gros beautifully puts it, “Once you no longer expect anything from the world on these aimless and peaceful walks, that is when the world delivers itself to you, gives it self, yields itself up.” Her drawing (Sfumatto, 2016) evokes topographical maps and the romantic dream of exploration.
To walk in nature, the writer reminds us, is to be perpetually distracted. Trees, flowers and the colors of the roads greet you and demand attention. Sandra Bacchi pays homage to two different trees in Untitled 7 and 8, Anatomy Series, 2016 which almost look like Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde as they open up generously and powerfully to the sky. “You are facing a mountain, walking among great trees, and you think: they are just there. They are there, they didn’t expect me, they were always there. They were there long before me and they will still be there long after me”, says Gros.
In a similar way, Gabriel Giucci uses graphite to depict a series of subtely differing rocks (Nero Marchina 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2015). An observant walker knows that the shapes in nature, the stones, the bark, the leaves, the scents in the air differ from one another. The pace of each step gives us time for understanding the details that make everything unique.
Luiz d’Orey, withUntitled 27, 28 and 29, 2016, represents the flâneur in the context of this exhibition. A sensitive investigator of the urban environment, d’Orey begins by collecting remnants of posters being glued, removed or overpainted on construction fences. He later transforms these recycled bills into a two- dimensional representation of the actual building being contructed behind these walls. The multi-layered process focuses attention on the boundary between public and private, chaos and order.
In Gros’ thinking, walking causes absorption. Thalita Hamaoui’s dreamy paintings (These Memories Were Not Mine I and II, 2016) are intense but quiet, reminiscent of the mind that is emptied after a long walk. “You are finally hearing what has no vocation to be retranslated, recorded, reformatted. Before speaking, a man should see”, recommends the author.
Alice Quaresma noticed that she was letting her works travel independently as she mailed them to residencies, clients, and exhibitions around the world. The shipping boxes where she packed her work (From Inside Out I and II, 2016) are icons of portability and transit. Somehow, the bureaucratic poetry of postal handling mimics our own traveling experiences as we wonder.
Pop-up show // October 21st 2016 // From 7-10PM // Foley Gallery // 59 Orchard Street