Walking the Wall: Global Flaneuse with Local Dilemmas
Wagadu, Fall 2009, v. 7, pp. 55-74
In order to explore the contemporary notion of the "global flaneur," Kinga Araya frames her article around her experience of emigrating from her native Poland to Canada by walking away from a school trip to Italy in 1989.
The body of the article considers Araya's 2008 work Walking the Wall, which happened in Berlin and coincided with the ten-year anniversary of her defection from her homeland. This work positions Araya's negotiation of the duality between living in the East and West through the enactment of the physical act of walking.
Araya discusses the etymology of the word flaneur in order to get at the gendered implications of the word and position herself and her practice within it. Moreover, the etymological tracing of the discourse around the definition of the flaneur, from Beaudelaire to Benjamin, enables Araya to explore what being one means in the contemporary global moment.
Lastly, Araya considers the local and global dimensions of the flaneur subjectivity and the way she engages with them in the walks that make up her performance art.
ITEM 2009.158 – available for viewing in the Research Centre
Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited
Walking the Wall – Kinga Araya
Dziesiec Krokow - Ten Steps – Kinga Araya
Walking Tamiami Trail – Kinga Araya
ABC – Kinga Araya
Peripatetic Exercise – Kinga Araya
Orthoepic Exercise – Kinga Araya
Exercising with Princess Headgear (Adjustable) – Kinga Araya
Walking with Arms – Kinga Araya
Grounded (I) – Kinga Araya
Grounded (II) – Kinga Araya
PolCan – Kinga Araya