Walking Matter, Seltjarnarnes

Readers Corner

Walking Matter, Seltjarnarnes

The other day I got encourage to take a trip to Seltjarnarnes near the house of the first doctor of Reykjavik, to see and experience the artwork 'Walking Matter,' by the Danish artist Tobias Kiel. It is sort of a “land sculpture” carved into the ground by the artist himself by walking back and forth 2 hours a day for 8 days. It was also told to me that people were invited to participate in the work and some people even continues walking out there, almost everyday, to keep the track alive and to keep their minds clear.

So when I heard about it I had to see it, and experience it, by myself. I heard about the work some weeks ago and since I’m not living in Iceland, but in Austria, I decided to book a flight, to experience this work of art on my own body.
I did; and I don’t regret.

It is weird how art sometimes can change a person. It is weird how art can change a person’s perception on life. This work did something to me, which is hard to explain. It’s a repetition that you are forced to do. You walk back and forth, back and forth, trapped in the track, but still you feel safe, safe from the worlds, often to realistic, surroundings and you are led to yourself.

I will end this letter to you, with a quote by Søren Kierkegarrd, which is explaining the feeling quite well, if you turn yourself into the repetition of walking back and forth for more than just 15 minutes. Let yourself devote to the artwork, and try it out, I can highly recommend it.

“Aristotle’s view that philosophy begins with wonder, not as in our day with doubt, is a positive point of departure for philosophy. Indeed, the world will no doubt learn that it does not do to begin with the negative, and the reason for success up to the present is that philosophers have never quite surrendered to the negative and thus have never earnestly done what they have said. They merely flirt with doubt.”

Kind Regards,

Detlef, Austria

PS. I did a Google search on the artist and found his website. As I can see, has he done other works in Iceland before.

I also added the coordinates and a picture, if you want to experience the work on your own body.
Coordinates, 64.157996, -22.008008, look for a track in the soil; I will guess it’s about 150 meters long.

Detlef Attenberger