Janette Kerr

Walking a liminal line

CC-BY-NC: Babak Fakhamzadeh

Celebrated on the last day of the Roman year, Terminalia is marked on February 23rd.

Terminalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the Roman god Terminus, who presided over boundaries and landmarks. His statue was merely a stone or post stuck in the ground to distinguish between properties. His worship is said to have been instituted by Numa Pompilius (second king of Rome) who ordered that every one should mark the boundaries of his property by stones to be consecrated to Jupiter Terminalis. Every year sacrifices were to be offered at the site of these during the festival of the Terminalia.

With its origins pagan, walking the boundaries between properties and parishes became absorbed into English religious practise when the festival became known as Beating the Bounds.It was the custom to walks the walls of a settlement and visit its terminii: this custom is re-enacted, often by psychogeographers, in many places today.

With this in mind marking Terminalia (without any religious overtones) is a good excuse for a boundary walk. ‘Walking the Invisible’ – a short walk of any distance from 5 paces to 50 kilometres that takes place along an invisible boundary. The walk can take place anywhere – in town or country – desert – mountain – under water

My own walk took place on Sunday February 23rd 2020 between 14.00 – 16.00, along ‘Peninsula-Beach’ 65.8242° N 20.3080° W in Skagaströnd, Northwest Iceland where I was an artist-in-residence at the NES residency. A liminal fluid line marking the boundary between sea and land – a place of transition – a space between ‘what was’ and ‘will be’ as the sea ebbs and flows.

Since 2020
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Location Skagaströnd, Iceland

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