The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is dedicating a large group exhibition to the hitherto rarely considered facets of walking in contemporary art. With around 100 works by more than 40 international artists, the exhibition WALK! presents an overview of contemporary artistic positions that aesthetically intertwine the act of moving on foot with the challenges of our time. Exploring and expanding upon Walking Art, the photographs, video works, performances, collages, drawings, paintings, and sculptures in the exhibition extend artistic walking into the social realm. They reflect current debates around issues such as globalization, migration, and climate change, and embark on a remapping of public space.
“Even though the idea for the exhibition WALK! has existed for a while, it now comes just at the right time. ‘ocial distancing’and restrictions on public life in the wake of the pandemic have given new meaning to everyday outdoor movement. There is no better moment to highlight walking in contemporary art and contextualize it in relation to current social issues,”says Dr. Philipp Demandt, Director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.
At the core of activities such as strolling or hiking are sensory experiences that enable a connection with nature and the environment as well as a new experience of the self. At the same time, they are related to social issues of global ecological, geopolitical, and economic change. As an artistic practice, walking promotes the idea of a space that is structurally connected to movement, encompassing mental and virtual spaces in addition to urban and rural environments. Walking Art, which in the 1960s and 70s develops alongside Land Art primarily in outdoor spaces, focuses on the walker’ immediate experience of the environment. The artistic movement challenges the notion of cultural progress as a domination of nature by turning walking into the material of its work.
Dr. Fiona Hesse and Matthias Ulrich, curators of the exhibition, further explain: “y focusing on walking as a social phenomenon, the exhibition WALK! overcomes the conceptually limited framework of traditional Walking Art. The works by today’ generation of artists attest to a diverse use of walking that combines everyday, political, and socio-
Bani Abidi, Yuji Agematsu, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿ, Daniel Beerstecher, Ellie Berry, James Bridle, Tiffany Chung, Jesse Darling, Michael Dean, Sebastiá Díz Morales, Anders Dickson, Flaneur, Hamish Fulton, Regina JoséGalindo, Rahima Gambo, Birke Gorm, Ölem Güyol & Mustafa Kunt, Hamza Halloubi, David Hammons, Yolande Harris, Mona Hatoum, Fabian Herkenhoener, Hiwa K, Michael Höfner, Jan Hostettler, Kubra Khademi, Bouchra Khalili, Kimsooja, Minouk Lim, Carole McCourt, Helen Mirra, Sohei Nishino, Carmen Papalia, Signe Pierce & Alli Coates, Sascha Pohle, Pope.L, Hans Schabus, Miae Son, Cheyney Thompson, Milica Tomić
Alongside the exhibition the Schirn presents Carlos Bunga’ site-
Curators: Dr. Fiona Hesse and Matthias Ulrich
Tiffany Chung, A Thousand Years Before and After (still), 2012. Video (color, sound), 9:01 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Exhibition 18 February -
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