Simon Pope (1966-)
“Simon Pope’s work has been central to the way in which walking as a method of art production has been rethought in recent years. Pope has remarked that “My recent work has focused on walking as a model for processes of dialogue and negotiation”. He views walking as analogous to the processes of what might be called ‘togetherness’, and describes his work as fundamentally “dialogic”.
To create ‘A Common Third’, Pope undertook walks with invited guests to places that neither he nor his collaborator knew beforehand. Accordingly, both were required to take decisions spontaneously and to negotiate what route and course of action to take.
Pope’s work presents audio recordings made later by the participants about the process – about the mental pathways taken as much as the literal ones. The romantic tradition of walking often refers to solitariness and less often to walking as a form of sociability. Pope examines how relationships, including power relationships, determine or structure our experience and expectations of landscape. His works are experiments in discovering how we approach walking, and what we expect from it. In ‘A Common Third’, he draws our attention to the ways in which law, cultural practice and tradition impact on us – challenging the ahistorical, asocial idea of walking offering a realm of infinite liberty that supposedly sits in contrasts to urban experience.”