ISCP resident Nanna Debois Buhl’s exhibition Street Haunting addresses the act of walking through the city; an activity that is at once taken-for-granted, a source of great literary inspiration, and loaded with political implications. The exhibition includes a series of cyanotypes made during weeks of daily walks by Buhl that interplay between structure and chance, and draws a journey through cityscapes across time and space.
Inspired by Michel de Certeau's concept of the city as a language and walking as a speech act1, Buhl’s project will be a dérive through different literary periods and fields of writing, connecting the politically-charged 19th century works of George Sand and Flora Tristan with Virginia Woolf’s reflections on the imaginary possibilities of the physical walk and Michèle Bernstein’s semi-fictive descriptions of dérives through Paris as a member of the Situationist International. The exhibition acts as a conduit to find new paths through the city as well as through literature addressing the walk as a way to experiment with identity and carve out a space for reflection.
Nanna Debois Buhl (born 1975, Denmark) received her MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006 and participated in The Whitney Independent Study Program, New York in 2008-09. She has exhibited internationally, with recent shows including: Art in General, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Bureau, NY; Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden; Ar/Ge Kunst, Bolzano, Italy; Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark; and Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark. Her work is in the collections of the Museum for Contemporary Art and The National Museum of Photography in Denmark. In 2010, Revolver Publishing published her artist’s book A Journey in Two Directions and the collaborative book City Grammar (with Liz Linden). Her work has recently been reviewed in Art in America, Art Forum, and The New York Times.
A commissioned text by Jen Kennedy, Social Studies and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellow and at Binghamton University, will be developed in response to the project and published in conjunction with the exhibition.
1 Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life [Berkeley, Calif: University of California, 2011]
“A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities.”
ISCP thanks the following contributors for their generous support: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, The Greenwich Collection, National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.