Large menhir located between Millstreet and Ballinagree, County Cork, Ireland

Walking as an artistic practice has a long history. Scholars such as Francesco Careri trace this history back to early nomads and wanders. Careri calls out large stone markers called menhirs, erected in the Neolithic landscape throughout Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Western Europe. The menhirs have widely debated possible purposes connected to walking, such as “sacred paths, initiations, processions, games, contests, dances, theatrical and musical performances.” Careri specifically calls out menhirs as early architectural objects used by nomadic hunters and shepherds – people who relied heavily on walking. Art historians can spot material and scale-related connections between these rocky menhirs and Land Art walking practices of the 20th century.


SOURCE: Careri, Francesco. Walkscapes: Walking as an Aesthetic Practice. Culicidae Architectural Press: 2017.