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Walking, Writing and Performance
Autobiographical Texts by Deirdre Heddon, Carl Lavery and Phil Smith
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Price £26.50, $35.50
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ISBN 9781841501550
Paperback pages
Published October 2009
Imprint: Intellect

Edited by Roberta Mock
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

This collection charts three projects by performance-makers who generate autobiographical writing by taking walks. It includes performance texts and photographs, as well as essays by the artists that discuss processes of development, writing and performance.

The Crab Walks and Crab Steps Aside are performances made by Phil Smith based on an initial exploratory walking of an area of South Devon where he was taken for childhood holidays and then on to Munich, Herm and San Gimignano. Both shows were accompanied by the distribution of maps seeking to provoke the audience to make their own exploratory walks. Mourning Walk is a performance that relates to a walk Carl Lavery made to mark the anniversary of his father’s death. Lavery shows how a secret can be both shared and hidden through the act of communication as he explores “an ethics of autobiographical performance”. In Tree, the result of a multi-disciplinary collaborative process, Dee Heddon occupies a single square foot of soil, and discovers that by standing stationary and looking closely she can travel across continents and centuries, making unexpected connections through an extroverted autobiographical practice.

The work of all three artists, taken together and separately, raises important issues about memory, ritual, life writing, textuality, subjectivity, and site in performance.

Chapter titles
Introduction: It’s (Not Really) All About Me, Me, Me
Roberta Mock
Part 1: Carl Lavery
Mourning Walk ; Mourning Walk and Pedestrian Performance: History, Aesthetics and Ethics
Part 2: Phil Smith
The Crab Walks ; Crab Walking and Mythogeography ; Crab Steps Aside
Part 3: Dee Heddon
Tree: A Studio Performance ; One Square Foot: Thousands of Routes
'Walking, Writing and Performance is an excellent contribution to a burgeoning field and an invitation to slow down – to walk and think and think hard about the implications of these acts in (and despite) the rush of the present. ' – Jen Mitas, Queen Mary University of London

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