digital print, 3 sheets, 2016
In 2015, Boedi Widjaja performed Path. 7, New Ground, pulling a sack of lump chalk and a giant balloon through East London. The walk was punctuated with multiple unpacking and repacking of the chalk, an embodiment of the migrant’s burden of motherland. The tug of the floating balloon, amplified in the city’s wind tunnels, had a continuous yet unpredictable destabilising effect on the artist, akin to the resistance that he experiences in rooting himself in his new home. The work culminated with a performance at the Barbican’s fountain foyer.
(Post) Path. 7, New Ground attempts to present to a gallery audience, through media documentation, a live event past. How may a happening that took place in liveness—activation of space and time through the body—be adequately mediated in a white cube? Eadweard Muybridge pioneered photographic techniques to record a galloping horse. The beast’s motion was captured in images that our human eye would have otherwise missed. Following this trajectory, Widjaja tracked the white balloon as it moved through east London into the City. Movement frozen into stills allowed for examination, and the viewer’s imagination of the action between frames and out-of-scene. Post live art, the artist chose to express the event in a media that facilitates focus and obscures perceptibility, at the same time.