Instead of the path that would lead me to discover the accuracy of the translation of Walking Around, I preferred to think and use, for myself, the words “walk around”. Maybe it was taken arbitrarily, by words, or heard that I changed, tossed souvenirs crossed with other things that occurred to me. Could even be another way, like “walking around” or “make the rounds.” The fact is that I do not know why I let myself go into a sort of drift of the words that came to me and its links with no concern for the translation. Without wondering whether the order entered in the English title has equal value and meaningfulness in Portuguese. But the drift is subject to surprises, and one was to have found a passage from a poem by Pablo Neruda, written in Castilian but it calls itself, also, Walking Around:
Sucede que me canso de mis pies y mis uñas
y mi pelo y mi sombra.
Sucede que me canso de ser hombre
The work of David Etxeberria, Walking Around, offer us a short ride in a closed circuit. In a city, an area inhabited by people who do not know ever. With door open houses where they are going on actions, meetings, or whatever. We know what is going on something, but we know only briefly. And that is all we know for definite.
Along the way, the author offers us, it produces a degree of ambiguity that emerges from the position we occupy as spectators. The view is very low along the ground. At street level, even in public places where we are led as if we were all a creeping animal.
The difference is the presence of a pair of shoes, which at first sight does not tell us anything. They are shoes that do not walk or run, but shoes that slide. Sometimes moving at great speed, but not run, because there is no body, foot, ankle, shoe or sock that these shoes. Another disruptive factor of an alleged narrative, and that makes it intriguing, and even briefly irritating, has to do with the type of shoes. These are a more appropriate model for the Swing dancing, or like another step aimed at golf courses (there are still endless chances for its use). David Etxeberria pushes us, or rather aspires us to a strange environment, almost absurd, surrounded by an envelope of sound that leads us in an atmosphere of a twilight zone. What he seeks is what remains of our memories by the similarity with fetishized elements that refer to some examples of the movie universe. The shoes work as a cliché that lends a picture, a presence of a false or fictional character. Men? A gangster or a dandy-sized upright? Other characters found in stories related to the position of difference apart from everyday life of common man. Although it may seem an obvious first approximation and recurrent in the images we consume, and sometimes we hold, these shoes are “one” who is on the sidelines, not participating, but pursuing this human need. As one who slips and illegal intruder enters, and makes a hustle out in clubs that only see floors, mosaics, legs and baseboards. Other shoes, many kinds of shoes, and thus a diversity of bodies that move. Within all these shoes are more people than not are unsung heroes who move and whisper.
In walking carried a sense of loss, loneliness or a pair of shoes without a body, to walk around. Walking Around the contrary desire simple and commonly human expectant of leaving, “a spin”, or find someone. Unwind, try going to the world of people and touch it.
There is, in this work, anything that is surprising. Like a suspicion? A question? A disappointment? Or a concern? meanings in the viewer’s mind.
João Silvério, 2007