To experiment with a form that unsticks, like in walking the script is constantly moving.
Walk 1: No Solid Ground
With Rob Schmutzler (mudflat guide), Louwrien Wijers (artist) and Egon Hanfstingl (Buddhist chef) in Ferwert, Netherlands, Spring 2015.
Wiersma approached artist Louwrien Wijers, who lives in Ferwert to react on the idea of ‘Walking as Sculpture‘, this in relation to Wijers her former series of interviews with Joseph Beuys1 in which they discussed the concept of ‘Writing as Sculpture’ as part of her body of work. This lead to a conversation and walk associating on the physical and mental impact of moving through an open, tidal landscape – muddy trails come and go due to the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon – and how it destabilizes your sense of solid ground and how we have to begin to learn to live with groundlessness2, according to Wijers. Author Anne Marijn Voorhorst walked along and wrote a text reflecting on her experience;3.
Fragment – After changing into clean, warm clothes, we sit down with Louwrien Wijers and Egon Hanfstingl. The bowls of steaming ‘Blissful Peace Soup’ prepared by Egon bring us back to an environment that seems suddenly unfamiliar. Louwrien tells of her encounters: Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Robert Filliou, the Dalai Lama…meanwhile, I do not try to squeeze my eyes shut as I did on the flats to reduce the intensity of the wind and the light. With a vigilant glare Louwrien unfolds her ideas on ‘Groundlessness’, which enlivens our past experience of the flats. I think about something Warhol said: “To be really rich, I believe, is to have one space. One big empty space.”
- Louwrien Wijers in conversation with Joseph Beuys.
- Fragment by Anne Marijn Voorhorst: – ‘The quagmire slurps and pulls, and forces us to reinvent how we walk. The smell of rot rises from the deep in the ground. The sludge is a soil that endures both high and low tides, explains our guide Rob. The top layer withholds the subsoil of oxygen but the plowing of our feet introduces air to the sunken organisms releasing an odor that is rancid to us. That distant line that separates air from earth also marks the body with a dash: everything from the hip to the head becomes weightless. Our sense of time evaporates, making our bottom halves (from the pelvis to the toes) arduous and serious. Image: Participants of the walk on mudflats of Ferwert, 2015
- “I’d rather slog through mud than indifference.” – Quote Fragment by Francis Ponge from ‘Unfinished Ode to the Mud’, one of the references along the walk.