ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 3
Cover Date: September 2014
Bodies and sculptures: Moving mountains
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Authors:  Kate Evans 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.1.3.471_1

sculpture,parkour,materiality,moving bodies

This short-form article examines the relationships between people and place through a case-study of the practice of parkour. In 2009, the sculpture Cader Idris (1999), by William Pye, was removed from its prominent position outside Cardiff Central Railway Station in Wales’s capital city. During the ten years it had occupied this location, the sculpture had become popular amongst practitioners of parkour (known as traceurs). Traceurs aim to move freely along a freely determined trajectory, without inhibition or recourse to prescribed routes, approaching objects as aides to movement rather than obstacles. The incorporation of Cader Idris into such routines was cut short by the sculpture’s relocation away from the central area to become part of an art trail – a move some felt related to concerns over the use of the work. Ongoing cycles of urban redevelopment and regeneration challenge the ability to take for granted the longevity of familiar sites, and traceurs’ focus on mobility offers a novel way of approaching the changing urban landscape. By tracing the movement of a sculpture from its original location to a new site, the short-form article considers how human and non-human bodies in motion might facilitate new ways of defining and engaging with the built environment through notions of materiality and the sensing body.
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