Artists | Jenny Marketou
Sunspotting a Walking Forest, 2012
Sunspotting a Walking Forest is a community based project led by Jenny Marketou (artist) in collaboration with Otto von Busch (cultural theorist) and Wanda Gala (choreographer) with the participation of students from Parsons School of Design, Clinton Middle School and seniors from the Fulton Houses in New York City. It is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project framed around a design relationship between fashion and language that generates engaging artifacts that can be worn or displayed but are always shared with the aim of activating written messages through performance.
Jenny Marketou and Otto von Busch have independently investigated the concept of walk and fashion design as esthetic tools. They have explored walking as research, ritual, performance, intervention, and political statement.
Sunspotting a Walking Forest explores how themes of identity and free speech can be facilitated through congenial exchange and a gift economy with the use of textile design and networked action. The aim of the artist is to explore how the use of fashion and language in collectives can be powerful performative tools of public engagement.
The project consists of two parallel workshops series, one with seniors and one with middle school students. In each series three artifact forms will be constructed over the course of six weeks: a flag, a shirt and a banner. These artifacts will ultimately be used in a June 2012 performance that will engage the public. This Walking Forest is a choreographed performative action conceived for an urban space or public park with multiple stops at selected locations. Each stop will consist of an action that will activate different modes of visibility and engagement.
The performance concept is intended as a way of recreating an ecological balance among nature, people and the urban environment. Walking in such a deliberate manner is a way of telling a story. The spatial element of storytelling is stressed in French sociologist Michel de Certeau’s notion of ‘spatial stories’. "Stories take place," says de Certeau. The ‘spatial story’ is a device that allows connections to be made between people and places. Through the act of walking, these connections are continually made and re-made, physically and conceptually over time and through space.
A public performance of Sunspotting a Walking Forest was held on the High Line in June 2012.Funding for this project has been provided in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with The NYC Council. Photochromic ink for this project was generously donated by Matsui International, Inc.
- Athens, Greece.
- MFA Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. Past adjunct professor at The Cooper Union School of Art and The New School in New York City.
Author of “Great Longing: The Greek of Astoria, New York”.
- Brooklyn, New York
- Mixed & multi-media; Performance Art