Steeped in the tradition of landscape art, walking has been at the heart of many art practices and performances for generations. This exhibition, focusing on both literal and metaphorical artists’ walks and journeys, is the first to examine the astonishingly varied ways in which artists since the late 1960s have used the universal act of taking a walk as a means to explore new realms of creativity. Walk On – From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff, 40 Years of Art Walking opens on 8 February, and brings together the work of almost 40 artists including 2 and 3 dimensional pieces, video and performance.
Exhibited throughout mac birmingham’s galleries and open spaces, Walk On will also include a host of creative walking events and activities including geo caching and family workshops. The exhibition proposes that across every decade over the last 40 years, artists have worked as kinds of explorers, both making their marks on rural wildernesses and acting as urban ‘expeditionaries’ or “botanizing on the asphalt”, as the Walter Benjamin put it.
Running alongside the Walk On exhibition is Birmingham based artist David Rowan’s new body of work, The Dark River, which runs from 8 February until 27 April. This project navigates the course of Birmingham’s River Rea through a series of moving pictures, taking inspiration from Roy Fisher’s poem, Birmingham River. The Dark River continues Rowan’s long term photographic and film interest in the city’s waterways and builds upon his recent photographic series Pacha Kuti Ten. The Dark River is part of Flatpack Film Festival which takes place across Birmingham from 20 – 30 March 2014.
Walk On is curated by Cynthia Morrison-Bell and Mike Collier of WALK partnership with NGCA and supported by the Arts Council England. Organised and toured by Art Circuit Touring Exhibitions. Artists included in this exhibition are Marina Abramovic, Francis Alÿs, Atul Bhalla and many more.
Walk On – From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff, 40 Years of Art Walking, 8 February – 30 March, mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, 2 Russell Rd, Moseley, Birmingham, West Midlands B12 9QH. For more details, visit www.macarts.co.uk.
1. Francis Alys Guards, Aerial Guards Shot (2005). Courtesy of the artist and mac birmingham.