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Hamish Fulton Twenty Eight Sticks for twenty eight one day walks from and to Kyoto traveling by way of Mount Hiei walking round the hill on a circuit of ancient paths (Japan 1998)

cm 300 x 845 ca.
For the English walking artist Hamish Fulton, walking is the true work of art, understood as an aesthetic experience, unique and individual, impossible to commoditize because it is not material. The artist goes on walks with no spectators, walks that can last days, like hiking trips, but he does not consider them performances. The installations that he conceives using photographs, texts, images and artificial materials are a complement and result of these experiences: Fulton avoids altering the environments he walks through, never using natural elements collected during the walks. In 1994, he created group walks, coordinating groups of people in collective excursions, each one in a different location and with its own specific pace. Lately the artist’s walks have taken on an increasingly poetic and engaged tone, touching topics such as the political situation in Tibet, or environmental degradation. With this installation, Fulton wishes to evoke in the viewer images and impressions regarding twenty-eight daylong walks, between 1991 and 1998 around Mount Hiei, Japan. The artist followed the same circuit as that taken by the so-called marathoner monks: Buddhist Tendai who, through a thousand days of running on foot, over seven years, in physically and mentally extreme conditions, attempt to reach enlightenment, running a total distance equal to that of the earth’s circumference. Fulton has designed a graphic composition in which the title of the work appears as well as the description of the walk he took and a geometric shape composed of twenty-eight segments, the same number of days for which he walked. On the right of the work, appearing in ancient Siddham characters, is the name of the Buddhist deity Fudo Myoo, linked to the virtue of self-control, for which the monks recite the mantra during their running.
On View
A. Vettese, P. Bartlett (eds.), Hamish Fulton: walking artist, Düsseldorf 2001. Hamish Fulton. Keep Moving, exhibition catalogue (Bolzano, Museion-Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea di Bolzano), Milan 2005. J. Wartkins, V. Pomery (eds.), Walking in Relation to Everything: Hamish Fulton, (Birmingham, Ikon Gallery), Manchester 2012.
Photo Credits
Foto Patrizia Tocci
Legal status
Purchased from the artist
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