Walking the questions

creating encounters

147 items

environment

207 items

Landscape

448 items

Nature

187 items

performance

163 items

place

336 items

walking as research.

147 items

Writing

225 items

Walking piece details

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A Soft Armour #8

What does belonging mean? What is my territory? What is yours? What do you truly own? Where is the wild? How to listen to non-human voices? What is the power of slowness? The best way to answer questions is to live them and in order to do that I went on a slow journey with simple means through northern Spain from my home in Barcelona to The Foundry in Galicia, 6 weeks mainly on foot, moving attentively through the world to encounter people, places, none-human beings, to find new stories and new questions.

I walked in the three piece business suit I had worn daily for a year and embroidered with questions people asked me through calls on social media or when encountering me walking around in the suit. The suit gives the walk a performative aspect and in every new walking project in a suit (this is nr. 8) new meaning is added to the body of work. It addresses ecology, politics, gender issues, capitalism, the outside versus the inside (how we deal with appearances), the history of walking (a business suit is still officially called a three-piece walking suit) and many other things.

This time an unplanned extra focus on climate change – its causes and results – happened because the month I started my walk turned out to be the hottest month ever recorded on earth, or to put it in a question: “To what extend are the men in suits responsible for what is happening?” Still, all the questions are equally important and are connected to the other ones somehow.

I walked without planning, being guided by and putting my trust in the world, carrying everything I needed to survive outdoors in a walking cart, going through life with simple means, improvising, giving time to everything and everybody asking for it.

Although there was a final destination, the conference Territory beyond State and Property, organised by the Foundry – a non-profit space for artists, writers, artisans and other creators who seek to work outside of the institutional confines of market and university – the journey itself was the goal and the main work; a performative walking around of questions, of being in and connecting with the world in a different way.

While walking, I reported from the road. Stories and images can be found here: https://asoftarmour8.blogspot.com

The project/walk took place July 12 – August 20 2023, a journey of 40 days.

Credits

The project was supported by:
Rewilding Cultures, a Creative Europe collaboration project, which wants to reposition the wild within the field of art practices connecting to science and technology: https://rewildingcultures.net/
The Foundry, a non-profit space for artists, writers, artisans and other creators who seek to work outside of the institutional confines of market and university: http://bravosfoundry.com/
Schmiede, a cooperative prototyping environment, focused on the arts, hacking and entrepreneurship (member of Rewilding Cultures): https://schmiedehallein.com/

Monique Besten

Monique Besten

Award winner Marŝarto23 shortlisted

Monique Besten is a visual artist, writer and educator who focuses on slow ways of being, likes to work site-specific and researches walking as an artistic medium. She is based in the Netherlands and Spain but is mainly at home where her feet are. She is a...

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