Black Series | Black Marche Paris, 22 June 2013
‘Encountering the sacred within the urban environment’
Francis Alys describes walking as one of “the last private spaces”: I investigate the spaces of ‘nothingness’, like a ‘glitch in the system’ attracting the comment: “you walk the walk instead of talking the talk”.
Black Marche, Paris, 2013 >>
‘Black Marche, Paris’ is a live art project which took place in Paris on 22 June 2013. After doing solo walks in London and Tokyo, the Paris walk included 14 participants following from an open call through partnering arts organisations, CinquanteNeuf Rivoli and Dimanche Rouge.
Like the other walks, ‘Black Marche’ responded to the urban landscape of the city and this time traced the spiral of the 20 arrondissements of Paris, from the 20th to the 1st. I related this walk to a Japanese buddhist practice of walking landscape mandalas, in this case attempting to define the ‘sacred’ within an urban setting. During the performance, I became a ‘Black Liberty’ once again, inspired by Eugene Delacroix’s painting of ‘Liberty Leading the People’; my black flag taking inspiration from Kazimir Malevich’s ‘Black Square’.
The encounter with participants happened at specific points at the entries and exits to each arrondissement. Each meeting held the anticipation of a blind date. Each walk became an intimate encounter with a stranger as we shared time, space and rhythms with each other. Ultimately it was this experience that seemed sacred: silence, intimacy and shared purpose with another.
The walk was documented through the recorded experiences of participants involved in performing such an action. After a long post-production process of giving shape to these varied experiences, the film is now complete. Soundtrack created in collaboration with DJ Rich NXT.
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