Documents of Contemporary Art: Walking


Documents of Contemporary Art: Walking

‘As Tom Jeffreys makes clear in this mind-bending new book, going for a walk isn’t always simply one foot leading the other. Via a rich cross-section of texts by artists and writers, this deceptively straightforward activity is revealed to be political, performative or pleasurable; symbolic or metaphorical; utopian, cultural or creative. Illuminating.’

– Jennifer Higgie author of The Other Side: A Journey into Women, Art and the Spirit World (2023) and The Mirror and the Palette: Revolution, Rebellion and Resilience (2001)

‘Focusing on the present and refusing any pre-established separation between art and social practice, this anthology will surprise even passionate researchers of walking (art) with plenty of different approaches. Featuring texts by both practitioners and thinkers around the globe, the book takes a stand for a deeply political interpretation of walking and calls for an intersectional perspective on the relationships between different bodies and sites.’

– Elena Biserna editor of Walking from Scores (2022) and Going Out: Walking, Listening, Soundmaking (2022)

Edited by Tom Jeffreys

Across the world, walking is a vital way to assert one’s presence in public space and discourse. Walking maps the terrain of contemporary walking practices, foregrounding work by Black artists, Indigenous artists and artists of colour, working-class artists, LGBTQI+ artists, disabled artists and neurodiverse artists, as well as many more who are frequently denied the right to take their places in public space, not only in the street or the countryside but also in art discourse. This anthology contends that, as a relational practice, walking inevitably touches upon questions of access, public space, land ownership and use. Walking is therefore always a political act.

Artists surveyed include

Stanley Brouwn, Laura Grace Ford, Regina José Galindo, Emily Hesse, Tehching Hsieh, Sharon Kivland, André Komatsu, Kongo Astronauts, Myriam Lefkowitz, Steve McQueen, Jade Montserrat, Sara Morawetz, Paulo Nazareth, Carmen Papalia, Ingrid Pollard, Issa Samb, Sop, Iman Tajik, Tentative Collective, Anna Zvyagintseva.

Writers include

Jason Allen-Paisant, Tanya Barson, André Brasil, Sarah Jane Cervenak, Annie Dillard, Jacques Derrida, Dwayne Donald, Darby English, Édouard Glissant, Steve Graby, Antje von Graevenitz, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, Elise Misao Hunchuck, Kathleen Jamie, Carl Lavery, JeeYeun Lee, Michael Marder, Gabriella Nugent, Isobel Parker Philip, Rebecca Solnit.

Tom Jeffreys is a writer based in Edinburgh. His work has appeared in ArtReview, e-flux, Frieze, The Guardian, New Scientist and many others. His books include: To an island in a loch on an island in a loch, with Kirsty Badenoch (2023); The White Birch: A Russian Reflection (2021) and Signal Failure: London to Birmingham, HS2 on foot (2017).

Paperback, 247 pages, 210 x 145 mm
ISBN 978-0-85488-316-5
First published 2024

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