The movements of our individual and collective bodies through cities and space have long, complex histories. Despite bodily movement being viewed as an everyday, quotidian act, when considered at length, our ability (or inability) to move through certain places and spaces transforms us from bystanders into activators and witnesses of our cities. This leads us to question what it means to move in this world, and how ‘public’ our public spaces can be.
Featuring works from Pauline Agustoni, Elia Castino, The Dazzle Club, Shannon Finnegan, Corinne Heyrman, Paoletta Holst, Alessandro Marchi, Jeannette Petrik and Soeria van den Wijngaard.
Taking inspiration from Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust: A History of Walking, this exhibition seeks out our rights of way. With our contemporary social, political and cultural landscapes in mind, we look back to the tradition of the flâneur as the ‘botanist of the sidewalk’ and the ‘painter of modern life’ as a backdrop to our understandings, to delve deeper into authorship in urban planning, ownership over public space and most of all, our ability to roam in the world.
At a time when widespread gentrification and division dominate our social, political and economic realities, when age, gender, race, sexual-orientation, mobility or economic status define where we are able to be present, when digital and physical surveillance follows our every move, and when testimonies of harassment and violation, of exclusion and segregation colour our contemporary realities, we are urged to ask, who has the rights of way?
Inspired by the grass-roots testimony, academic resources and critical inquiry offered by poets, theorists, artists, architects and designers, Rights of Way explores the body as witness in public space through a multi-medium format of soundscape, film, oral testimony, interview and text. Portraying differing scales and perspectives, geographical locations and time periods it aims to build upon a multitude of experiences and further the intersections between body, imagination, witnessing and the city, to consider another civil choreography.