#313-316 Circle Walk
150x150 cm | 4 panels/84x64 cm each | Filler, oak frames
I did this work by walking 99 turns in a circle over four panels placed on the floor in an interlocking square spiral shape wearing clogs. See a video of the entire performative production event here.
Walking in circles is a form of meditation and an essential component of Bagua Zhang, one of China's three martial arts. You walk in circles to empty the mind and thus escape the closed circuit of subjectivity.
In the middle of this work, a void hides the centre of the two depicted circles. One can perceive the hidden - or missing - spot as an image of the subject's primordial desire, the unattainable truth about itself, around which the subject creates its identity.
Walking in circles is also an expression of being lost, not knowing the way forward, from one's place or state. I used a pair of plastic clogs when I made the piece to connect it to the working class. Thus, the work can refer to the famous 99 percents lack of insight into its position in the economic conditions of production - what is called class-consciousness.
But through the repetition, the individual footprints merged into two rings and thus created a kind of track or path. Which, in turn, can be perceived as an expression of making the road by walking it.
The shoes wore to produce this work is a modern variant of clogs, made of plastic. In French, clogs are called "sabot", which is the basis for the word sabotage. Possibly because when automatic looms were introduced in France, the workers threw their shoes into them to protest the machines making them redundant. In another way, you may also call this work a sabotage (in the sense of a collage, or frottage) as it is made by clogs.
This is the shoe of the common people, the shoe of the working class. Historically made in wood for use in factories and on the fields, but today, for example, healthcare workers widely use the plastic version. It is also popular as leisurewear for the mainstream, or the so-called masses.
This work is part of a series called Platform. Works made by bodily imprints in frames with wet filler while placed on the ground. This is inspired by Gutai, the experimental Japanese art group from the 50s, who focused on matter, body and process, and especially one member Kazuo Shiraga who painted with his feet, suspended from the ceiling over the canvas. These imprints can be made by me or others, to document, or record, an event taking place at a certain point in time. The happening is becoming the act that creates a work of art and thus challenging the boundary between documentation of art and art itself.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.