The Museum of Walking's "Radius" Explores Individual and Collective Potential of Walking

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See also: Angela Ellsworth on Her Ongoing Plural Wife Project, New Work, and the Museum of Walking

A central force behind this exhibition, and MoW itself, is the work of Rebecca Solnit. Presented in the exhibition space is a quote from Solnit's Wanderlust: A History of Walking. "People have a kind of mental radius of how far they are willing to go on foot that seems to be shrinking. . ." Using this limited radius, which civic planners commonly define as a 15-minute walk, these artists set out on 15-minute walks from MoW's Tempe location in any direction. With walking as both process and medium, the artists have displayed the remnants of this performative action. Each artist has produced a work on paper, functioning as a map of sorts, corresponding with a found object in the space.

Each work on paper is based on a template, a score for a performance. Museum of Walking is typed in the center with untapped space surrounding it, speaking to the inherent potentiality of walking. From a single point of origin, the possibilities are seemingly infinite. There's no defined point B until the artist determines it and, in some cases, we see only a trace with no clear destination.

The potential of walking is illustrated further in the lack of ownership over specific works. The participating artists are listed in the space, but the viewer doesn't know who did what. It really doesn't matter. This sense of collectivity is what the act of walking and this institutional space are about. Walking is about being engaged with the landscape -- what we're walking on, what (or whom) we're surrounded by, and where we're going (whether we know or not). These personal responses to walking, in turn, tell us something about ourselves and invite us to ask introspective questions about the act of walking and our relationship to it.

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Mikey Estes
Contact: Mikey Estes