The Shape of a Walk reflection

“The Shape of a Walk” brings up new ideas to me about walking as art. It suggests many different ways in which walking was used to create art and the meaning behind it. The walks could be documented through photography, drawings, sculpture, or even with the routes drawn on maps. One piece I found interesting was Robert Smithson’s 1,500-foot-long Spiral Jetty. The piece was a large spiral path of rock. I liked how the piece interacted with the land. To me, it comes off as the struggle between organic and inorganic. The piece is made of natural rock in a shape that is not natural. It limits the viewers by forcing them to follow a direct path through nature. The works of Marina Abramovic and Ulay references the Chinese Tradition of  the ‘four dignities’–– standing, lying, sitting, and walking. These artists used these fundamental human actions to connect with viewers. I like how they use the simplicity of humans in a natural state to question human action. For example, walking can also be a part of the art when the viewer is in a way forced to interact with the piece through movement. In 1977 they stood nude in the doorway of the museum, forcing the viewers to walk through them, having to choose who to turn to and face nude. This manipulates how the viewer walks through the doorway.

Notice the interactions between nature and people.

How are the differences in the ‘gestures’ of people between those in a city v. those in a more suburban neighborhood?

How does the time of day affect people?

Do different people (male v. Female; old v. Young…) respond differently to art in which the viewer is forced to interact with the piece?

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