Carol Laidler solo exhibition, The Galleries, Bristol 2012
The room is strangely colourless, monochrome, while the window reveals the corridor in the shopping arcade beyond in garish technicolour, cinematic in scale and shape, its transitory occupants speeding by. Like an empty stage with a film beyond, the rhythms of walking become part of the work.
Extracts from Beckett’s instructions in his play Footfalls and Gilles de la Tourette’s thesis on walking Études Cliniques et Physiologiques sur la Marche are thinly papered onto wooden staves and leant against the walls. The floorboards in the room are heavily marked by evidence of use. The leaning staves and their shadows form angles against the walls. An atmosphere of loneliness permeates the room.
"The walking should be like a metronome", Beckett instructed in his play. He called them "life-long stretches of walking". At intervals the sound of footsteps crunching on stones can just be heard, “the ineluctable modality of the audible” the ghost of the walker, gently directing the attention of the viewer to the rhythms of the walking on the other side of the glass.
The doors between the shop space and the shopping arcade are locked so that the two spaces are separated, yet the occupants on both sides can observe the occupants of the other. The people walking past in the arcade seem to phase in and out of step with the sound of the footsteps on the pebbles; the unknown passers by unknowingly become part of the installation. A never ending stream of people walking.