Häusler Contemporary München is pleased to announce a solo show of British artist Hamish Fulton entitled »Walking without a Smartphone«. Specifically for our gallery, the artist conceived a selection of works on paper, sculptures and a new wall work. He thus again documents his status as a representative of an artistic concept that focuses on an active perception of walking.
In today’s society we cannot imagine to live without a smartphone anymore. The small multifunctional device is our permanent companion. Usually it is also the means by which we (assumedly) explore the world, be it by envisioning remote countries on the smartphone’s display or by taking »selfies« with its camera, always and everywhere. It almost seems as if our attention was only directed at the pictures that we take of places instead of at the cities and landscapes themselves.
The exhibition title »Walking without a Smartphone« proclaims an attitude, that opposes the complete dedication to virtual space with conscious and physical perception of the environment. Hamish Fulton’s art is based on this attitude: Since 1967 he has been spinning an invisible net of steps on various countries in numerous conceptually based »walks«. His experiences of motion and landscape are subsequently transformed into visual artworks.
For his current exhibition at Häusler Contemporary München, Fulton made a personal selection from the past 20 years of his oeuvre and added recently completed works on paper. Furthermore, for this specific event he designed a new wall work which is concerned with a 28-day walk in Nepal, whereas the motive is derived from shapes of his wood sculptures, what he calls »walk text on wood«.
Our exhibition thus gives an overview of the characteristics of Fulton’s work: his photographs, text works, drawings, and sculptures often operate with graphic elements and connect language and pictorial aspects. The factual naming of the conceptually based action turns into the viewer’s subject of contemplation: it states places, timespans, height differences,sometimes even of the number of steps that defined the underlying »walk«.
»Walking one circuit of the pilgrimage route round Mount Kailash Tibet 5+6 October 2007 cold wind and sleet«, for example is stamped over an abstract watercolor silhouette of Mount Kailash. Fulton repeatedly uses stamps, watercolor and acrylic but also graphite as painterly means. »A Seven Day Walk in Northeastern California Ending on the Night Of The October Full Moon 1981« is handwritten on an old cut yardstick the individual pieces of which the artist rearranged to a wall sculpture.
Exactly because Hamish Fulton does not try to put into words or images his personal impressions of walking, he enables viewers to revive their own experiences of space and time. His works transfer an idea of the world that we can never achieve through a smartphone. Viewers who engage entirely with the artworks of our exhibition puts their smartphones away in astonishment and start to actively experience their surroundings.