The Walking In Between
“Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”
“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road-- Only wakes upon the sea.”
-Antonio Machado, “Proverbios y cantares” in Campos de Castilla, 1912
This poem comes from one of Antonio Machado’s major poetry collections, Campos de Castilla. Machado was a 20th century Spanish poet, who wrote at a time when the major pillars of Spain were being challenged, leaving the country politically unstable and its future uncertain. Machado’s own life pillars had been shaken after the death of his wife. In Campos de Castilla, Machado reflects on what has been lost and looks outward, considering the fate of his nation, and perhaps Machado himself. The poem above reads like one side of a conversation. The poet addresses the “Wanderer”, who appears to have asked a question familiar to anyone who has stood at the edge of what they know: What path am I supposed to follow? While we might anticipate a fork-in-the-road metaphor as found in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, the poet’s response to the Wanderer instead finds them in the mutable position that the path, if there is one at all, is created by you as you continue forward.
The Walking In Between brings together 18 artists from different backgrounds and mediums, whose work occupies this “non-place” of journey, wander, and transition. Disrupting the notion that we can ever truly “arrive” in a place, this exhibition is defined by motion. Bobby Adams’ prints use layers of line and color to create depth in the picture plane. The combination of free lines with the sense of place achieved through the layers reminiscent of landscape paintings, results in the prints appearing to be suspended in perpetual movement. Janos Korodi using Google Street View as a base for his paintings, and Leanne Grimes in Owlwoods (2014) paint elusive, anonymous landscapes; recognizable as roads, bridges and streets, but as if we are passing through. Jung Hoon Park, Jaimie Alavarez, Edward Tseng and Edward Jay’s found objects and photography offer glimpses into what can be seen on their journeys, perhaps serving as guideposts. Furthermore, in collage and photography, painting and prints, the works in this exhibition touch on some of the emotions and spirit present throughout this ongoing process: trepidation, pioneering, wonder.
As the new calendar year approaches and we continue to navigate a post-pandemic normal, The Walking In Between offers a space to consider ourselves in this process. Are these artists the voice of the poet, offering advice on our own paths, or are they fellow wanderers, offering snapshots of their own journey? While Machado’s poem emphasizes that each person will have to make their own way, this exhibition exists as a reminder that although what is ahead is unclear, we are not alone, if only as a community of wanderers.