The Turtle Walk

The Turtle Walk, 2010, Gwangju, South Korea
(d`après Walter Benjamin)
Participative Performance, Caecilia Tripp

Around 1839, W. Benjamin reports, it was fashionable to walk through the arcades with a turtle on a leash in order to enforce the slow pace really determined looking required.

"There was the pedestrian who wedged himself into the crowd, but there was also the flâneur who demanded elbow room and was unwilling to forego the life of the gentleman of leisure. His leisurely appearance as a personality is his protest against the division of labour which makes people into specialists. it was also his protest against their industriousness. Around 1840 it was briefly fashionable to take turtles for a walk in the arcades the flâneurs liked to have the turtles set the pace for them." (W.B.)

Each edition of the Turtle Walk is site specific.

The Turtle Walk had his first edition with 5 turtles in Korea, Gwangju at the Gwangju Biennale Foundation curated by its director Yongwoo Lee in an exhibition named "Flower Of May" (2010) in relation to the civil uprising in the 1980`s.

5 turtles were displayed throughout the exhibition space guarded by the museum guardians and walked bu the visitors through the exhibition. The turtles were manifesting different writings on their back in relation with democracy and processes of transgression.
They were given away by the artist to the people in the streets the following day.