Two Feet Walking: Linda Karshan Performance & Panel Talk

April 8, 2022 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us for a performance by Linda Karshan in which the artist will enact one of her innovative ‘walked drawings’ in response to the iconic Brutalist architecture of Murray Edwards College, in collaboration with the filmmaker Ishmael Annobil. The performance will be followed by a panel talk on the theme of embodiment in art with the artist and Cerys Whiles (Arts Assistant, Cambridge University Hospitals), chaired by Gill Hedley (independent writer and curator). Book your free tickets here

In her ‘walked dawings’, Karshan’s feet become her drawing tools, as she interacts with historic spaces in the same way as the medium of paper. She enacts walked lines and movements that embody her internal rhythm and form. Following the patterns of her breath and her intuitive “inner choreography”, Karshan walks in precise patterns of straight lines that recall her drawings on paper, sometimes stopping to embellish a particular point with a few steps of dancelike footwork. As she moves through each space, Karshan’s footsteps resound off the walls and floors in an interplay of echoes and rhythms to create auditory portraits. The artist herself becomes a living presence giving voice to the place itself. She asks the audience: ‘listen, just listen’.

At Murray Edwards, the artist will respond to the iconic Brutalist building, designed by Chambelin, Powell and Bon as a manifesto for women’s education. The title of the piece makes reference to Alberto Giacometti’s description of his studio practice as ‘two feet walking’. Karshan’s previous ‘walked drawings’ have taken place at the San Giorgio Monastery in Venice, the Study Room at the British Museum, the courtyard of Somerset House, the historic staircase of the Saatchi Gallery and her studio in Dulwich. Miked and shot in tap shoes, these drawings could be seen, and heard.

Linda Karshan is an American artist who lives and works between London and New York. Guided by what she calls her “inner choreography,” Karshan makes spare, monochromatic seemingly abstract prints and drawings that serve as direct reflections of the process of their making. Coming directly through her body, the work is unequivocally figurative. Though she began her career producing expressive compositions, in 1994 she developed a performance-based method for making work, in which every mark is associated with her rhythmic and regulated breathing, her counter-clockwise turning of the paper, the motion of her entire body, the musical way in which she counts off increments of time, and geometric shapes and patterns, ultimately turning pattern into being. Based on her studies of psychology and Plato’s theory that the universe is ordered numerically, Karshan’s method results in iterative images of intersecting lines, forming grids, geometric shapes and pattern – signs of men brought to life on paper, and in space – and, sometimes, ordered yet loosely scribbled marks repeating across the page.

Photograph by Jo Underhill