*Lucius Burckhardt, Why is Landscape Beautiful? The Science of Strollology,
Basel: Birkhäuser, 2015
The International Walking Art Encounters/Conference in Prespa (Greece) is an important international meeting for nomadic artistic practice/walking art. It was held from July 4-17, 2021. Due to the pandemic, there are outstations in various places around the world that also participate. These so-called HUBs organized events or activities that overlap with the Encounters/Conference theme "Walking as a Question" but address issues and conditions of their own location/network/region. The walking artist Marie-Anne Lerjen (Agentur für Gehkultur) and the artist Simone Etter (künstlerinnenkollektiv marsie) conceived a HUB in Zurich (4-10 July, 2021).
Lerjen and Etter have a longtime experience in walking art. They have also undertaken several series of exploratory parallel walks in different cities together (Basel-Zurich/Montreal-Paris). Simone Etter and her artist collective "künstlerinnenkollektiv marsie" currently run "The marsie – a space for collective art", an art space in the central district of Zurich. This art space was the base station of the HUB in Zurich.
The starting point of the HUB Zurich is the writings of the Swiss sociologist Lucius Burckhardt (1925-2003) on "strollology" – as he has called it.* In it, Buckhardt emphasises the connection between the culturally influenced images in our heads and what we perceive. We see what we expect to see. Artistic walks set these images and perceptions in motion. Perception is challenged in many ways and thus reflected upon in greater depth. City and landscape spaces become legible in new ways. That’s why we walk.
The HUB Zurich became an outstation of the encounters/
conference in Prespa and applied the walks and tools of “Walking as a Question” in the context of Zurich's urban space. The HUB brought together a group of people in Zurich who participated, followed the discussions and did the proposed walks together and shared their experiences. Apart from that the HUB in Zurich proposed the walkshop "walking in(out)doors" (July, 4, 4 pm Zurich time) for the encounters/conference, that focused on visible and invisible "doors" to rethink accessibility. It was possible to participate in Prespa on site or anywhere remotely. HUB Zurich collaborated with Hilary Ramsden’s walking project "A Walk around the Block" and took part in Christopher Kaczmarek's and Deirdre Macleod's project "Telegraph (Prespa)", Sophie Chabot's project "Walking with a Question" (collaboration with photographer Denis Rioux) and more. See overall program below. Activities in the HUB Zurich were open to the public.
After the conclusion of the encounters/conference, the HUB Zurich continues the discussion of the experiences and will hold a process based exhibition on the topic with guests who have a walking art practice in public space.
HUB Zurich, International Walking Art Encounters/Conference: 4th to 10th July 2021
Exhibition: 12th of August to 19th September 2021
Location: The marsie – a space for collective art practice, Elisabethenstrasse 26, Zurich
Marie-Anne Lerjen is a walking artist from Zurich (Switzerland). Since 2011 she has been working under the label of
"lerjentours. Agency for Walking Culture". Her interest is in walking as a method to gain embodied knowledge about places, spaces, things, and notions. She invites people to join her on a "conceptual" walk to make a sensory
spatial experience together. lerjentours presents performances, videos, talks, and texts about aspects of walking and perception.
Simone Etter is a Swiss artist with a nomadic social practive.
Working with long term social performance projects at the core of her practice, Etter builds relationships as works of art by creating plattforms or mindful encounters in everyday life as a living art practice. Simone Etter is initiator of the artists' collective "künstlerinnenkollektiv marsie". She works and experiments on formats and actions to artistic interventions in public space. She lives currently in Zurich, Switzerland.