PHYLLIS ODESSEY

these convoluted things are made for walking

Tatiana-Trouve-Prix-Marcel-Duchamp-2007_w314_h133

Tatiana Trouve

The French specialize in complex, over intellectualized reverie.  Perhaps, it’s the way the french language is constructed, forcing the speaker to formulate tortuous thought patterns.  I’m with Gertrude Stein on this one, “a rose is a rose is a rose.”  Or…  am I just so American, I have little tolerance for labyrinth-like cerebral thinking.  Listening to Tatina Trouvé talk about her new project, Desire Lines gave me a migraine.

overall best

central-park-mapDesire Lines is a physical inventory of 212 walkable routes in Central Park, which Trouve mapped and measured.  She transferred the measurements into a multitude of colored cords, wound on wooden spools and installed on huge metal racks to form an imposing sculptural environment.”  Gagosian Gallery, New York press release.

black spools

Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, Desire Lines is located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza (60 st. and Central Park South).
blue with sky view

On Monday night, March 2, Tatina Trouvé explained her new project as an investigation into the history of walking. Does knowing that Trouve has read Robert Smithton’s essay Entropy Made Visible, Andre Breton’s Pont Neuf, Alan Kaprow’s Taking A Shoe For A Walk, Yoko’s City Piece, Sophie Calle’s “La Filature” and has listened to “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash and Walking to New Orleans by Fats Domino make walking through Central Park a richer experience?

side view of spools only

This weekend I went and saw the piece.  It’s a rare occurrence, when  hearing an artist talk about their work does anything but amplify the piece.  After spending some time at Desire Lines, I wished I never heard Trouvé speak about the installation.  It’s a much more interesting piece, when you have no knowledge of the research that went into it.

BLACK AND GREY

sign

As the sign explains the 212 spools represent  212 paths through Central Park.  To take a linear walk and transform it into rope coiled on a spool is a conceptual feat or you might just feel you are at the end of your rope.

yellow brown

purple

green

silver

As long as I am walking
As long as I am walking, I am not choosing
As long as I am walking, I am not smoking
As long as I am walking, I am not losing
As long as I am walking, I am not making
As long as I am walking, I am not knowing
As long as I am walking, I am not falling
As long as I am walking, I am not painting
As long as I am walking, I am not hiding
As long as I am walking, I am not counting
As long as I am walking, I am not adding
As long as I am walking, I am not crying
As long as I am walking, I am not asking
As long as I am walking, I am not believing
As long as I am walking, I am not talking
As long as I am walking, I am not drinking
As long as I am walking, I am not closing
As long as I am walking, I am not stealing
As long as I am walking, I am not mocking
As long as I am walking, I am not facing
As long as I am walking, I am not crossing
As long as I am walking, I am not changing
As long as I am walking,
As long as I am walking,
As long as I am walking,
As long as I am walking, I will not repeat
As long as I am walking, I will not remember

Francis Alys, 2010.

A desired path (also known as a desire line, social trail, goat track or bootleg trail) can be a path created as a consequence of foot or bicycle traffic.  The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination – Wikipedia.

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