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Rights of Way

The body as witness in public space

Onomatopee 195

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.

 

Agenda

Publication

Onomatopee 195, Amy Gowen, 2021

Rights of Way

The Body as Witness in Public Space

The movements of our individual and collective bodies through cities and space have long, complex histories. Despite associations with the everyday, the seemingly obvious or even the mundane; when considered at length, our bodily movements, and our ability (or inability) to move through space and place transforms us from mere bystanders into activators and witnesses of our cities.

Against our current backdrop of shifting city borders, mass surveillance, tightening immigration controls, technological advancements, precarious citizenship rights, widespread gentrification, divisive body politics and limited access to public space, Rights of Way weaves together testimony, academic research, essay, fiction, analysis and interview to question who has the rights of way to gather the past, the present and the future of public space and to envision new forms of witnessing for the cities in which we reside.

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Edited by Amy Gowen, Preface by Amy Gowen, Introduction by Amy Gowen, with contributions by Pauline Agustoni, Elia Castino, The Dazzle Club, Christa-Maria Lerm-Hayes, Rahma Khazam, Annee Grøtte Viken, Soeria van den Wijngaard, Shannon Finnegan, Kevin Gotkin, Corinne Heyrman, Paoletta Holst, Jeannette Petrik, Alessandro Marchi

ISBN
978-94-93148-70-3
Editor
Amy Gowen
Author
Pauline Agustoni, Elia Castino, The Dazzle Club, Christa-Maria Lerm-Hayes, Rahma Khazam, Annee Grøtte Viken, Soeria van den Wijngaard, Shannon Finnegan, Kevin Gotkin, Corinne Heyrman, Paoletta Holst, Jeannette Petrik and Alessandro Marchi
Graphic
Studio Bramesfeld
Language
English
Made possible by
Mondriaan foundation, Cultuur Eindhoven.
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PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT AND ALL THE ROLES THESE PEOPLE EVER HAD IN ONOMATOPEE PROJECTS