Thursday, July 01, 2004

Not lost enough, day 2 : Leeds

My city is predictable today. It isn’t inspiring me, I can’t see beyond what I know. I couldn’t help projecting my route ahead in my mind, as I walked along, getting lost only in my own thoughts and narratives, expertly navigating the streets I am starting to know so well. I kept trying to pull myself back to the exercise, to look and observe, to notice what I was within. I wanted to speak to somebody and I thought about stopping to converse with the newspaper seller. I didn’t, I didn’t know what to say to him. This was before I read your post about talking to the people in Kellerberrin, I just had a feeling I should do this but didn’t know where to start.

So I carried on walking. After leaving the gallery and turning left and left again I took to the roads. Today I would only walk on roads and I wanted to imagine Leeds is just one straight road too, just one that twists and turns and crosses over itself. Somebody suggested this to me yesterday in the gallery and it kind of stuck in my head. So I set out to only walk in a straight line or if that wasn’t possible to turn only left.

The streets buzzed around me. They were busy. The giant TV screen, erected to show the Euro 2004 games blurts out inane childrens TV, subtitled, a small group of homeless people sit at the other end of the square watching it. The fountain bubbles, this was the compensation for the loss of the gardens that once stood here, a popular spot for the homeless and destitute and art students! I began to document the world as it appears in the streets of Leeds. The restaurants, banks, shops and street names that reflect the fact that we do not live in isolation from one another. The Irish Bank, Quebec Street, Prague shoe shop. It became benal quite quickly but I persevered, fairly unimpressed by my own observations.

It was only on leaving the central shopping area and head back to the gallery that I began to take note. A helicopter was flying overhead, circling the pedestrian areas from the sky. The centre was being marked out by its movements, transposing itself in to the air. It’s kind of like when you see a house marked out on the floor it seems so small, when the helicopter moves in the air it seems to be going nowhere yet it is encompassing it all in a few short strokes.


At 2 July 2004 at 05:12, Blogger Ric (WA) said...

Its funny how a "place" can become mundane. I like the idea of all roads being one road- they are all linked anyway- this is a great observation. I like your line "...unimpressed by my own observations", how critical we are of the connection that works between our eyes and mind- I think letting the mind run away from the feet is a Debordian methid- is it possible to then understand the drift that is your wandering mind or is this just too existential, too much the cartesian other observing the self.


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