Path. 7, New Ground will be a moving performance from the East End of London to the Barbican by Indonesia-born, Singapore-based Boedi Widjaja. He will navigate through the city’s streets and locales–densely sedimented with migration, settlement and belonging–tied to a sack of lump chalk and the floating force of a giant balloon. Art interventions will take place in Tower Hamlets, a neighbourhood that has experienced successive waves of immigration beginning with the Flemings in the 14th century to the South Asians in the mid 20th, and within the City of London, the heart of London’s trade and commerce since the Middle Ages. The artist will bring the lump chalk into contact with the sand and dust on route before treading upon and grinding them into powder, marking the grounds of London. The live art culminates at the Barbican Centre’s lakeside foyer.
The performance is the seventh work in the artist’s ongoing series Path., that investigates into notions of place, origin and identity. Path. was triggered by the artist’s change in citizenship; a time of charged national conversation on the rights of immigrants in Singapore, his newly adopted country; and the broader narrative of relentless urban migration. The series’ inaugural live art, Path. 1, The White City, was commissioned by Singapore’s oldest independent contemporary arts centre The Substation in 2012.