Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Hamish Fulton

Walking Artist

4 July 1998
Spazio Culturale Antonio Ratti

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To better illustrate the intervention prepared for the IV edition of CSAV-Artists’ Research Laboratory, Visiting Professor and nomadic artist par excellence Hamish Fulton talks about the practice of walking in its most experiential and everyday life changing sides. Through an imaginative speech, he claims the practical - non theoretical - nature of walking, which is a non-monetized and non-normative activity that could also disengage from the duty of producing a work of art, as “a walk has a life of its own and does not need to be made into a work of art”, as “walking is the constant, the art medium is the variable”. A general introduction is followed by poetic notes on walks done through the years and in different places, in which Futon underlines the unpredictability and the emotional, geographical and atmospheric variability of the process.

Hamish Fulton (b. 1946, London) lives and works in Canterbury. He is an English walking artist and one of the most interesting figures of the innovative English art of the late 1960s, which included artists such as Gilbert & George and Richard Long, with whom he worked and traveled extensively. Since the late 1960s, Fulton has developed an extremely personal form of art: the walk, synthesizing the various directions that art was taking at the time (performance art, conceptual art, poor art, land art, body art). Fulton decided to only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks. In particular, he travelled on foot and explored extensively the English countryside. Although only Fulton experiences the walk itself, the texts and photographs he presents in exhibitions and books allow us to engage with his experience. The role of the artist is that of filtering the personal experiences and emotions, giving back to the viewer a synthetic and poetic report.

Fulton has shown his work in numerous prestigious institutions worldwide: Kunstmuseum, Basel (1977); MOMA, New York (1978); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1981); Stedelijk van Abbenmuseum of Eindhoven (1985); IVAM Valencia (1992); Museum of Modern Art in Wakayama (1996); Tate Britain, London (2002); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016) and Bombas Gens, Valencia (2018).

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