WHY WE WALK

01-07 July 2011
Novantuno Metriquadri art space
Berlin

with: Pierre Granoux - Nicolas Manenti - Elizabeth McTernan - Alexandre Negrelli - Rüdiger Schlömer - Vadim Sérandon - Bignia Wehrli /Anna Forlati

Curated by: Sunshine Wong and Nicolas Manenti

Flâneurs, borne of post-revolution Paris as it succumbed to the growing pains of industrialisation, were a distinct urban breed. Rich in time and money, they took to the streets, not to protest or reclaim the nation as an enraged French populace did a generation before, but to walk amidst thronging crowds. Bereft of errands or schedules, flânerie of the 19th century shares a few important attributes with contemporary art: both favour participatory spectatorship and, propelled by inquisitiveness, both wander deliberately into unknown territories.

Away from the neatly manicured road of learned appropriateness, detours of the mind provide momentary respite from "common sense", during which the flâneuring artist may confront new ideas or regard old ones from a different viewpoint. Why We Walk brings together a handful of stories from these trips beyond, creating a patchwork travel itinerary that locates new, previously un-Googlable points of the mental world map: Granoux's incessant search for the word "Gap" on signages around the world echoing his hometown of the same name; McTernan's tender correspondence to an ill-fated building from her transcontinental expedition; Serandon's jigged readings of Marcel Broodthaers, amongst other works. Decidedly modest in gesture, the artists of the project are less interested in the immediacy of epic scales, preferring instead to focus on the transformative powers of the small and minimal.

Sunshine Wong.

Photos: Vidit Studio

Exhibition view