Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Mis-Guide to Anywhere

4 Mis-Guided Tours

Performance: Sat 08 Apr 2006

Wrights & Sites and Tony Weaver mark the launch of their new book, A Mis-Guide To Anywhere, by leading four walking tours within the environs of the ICA.

A utopian project for the recasting of a bitter world by disrupted walking, A Mis-Guide to Anywhere is a travel document for your destinationless journeys.

Unlike ordinary guided tours, these walks will be disrupted by the practice of mytho-geography, which places the fictional, fanciful, fragile and personal on equal terms with ‘factual’, municipal history.

Each 90 minute walk can accommodate ten people, and will start and finish in the foyer of the ICA.

12.30pm - The Problem of Shopping

Rearrange the dreams on sale by reading stories in window displays, sight-seeing shop assistants, shopping for a fictional ‘you’ or exploring shopping nostalgia.

12.45pm - Out of Place

A walk of coincidences, derived from overlaying a map of Paris onto London. What’s where the Eiffel Tower should be? Where can we stop for un Ricard?

1pm - Scales

In a park or open city space: walk the dimensions of a paving stone; walk the dimensions of your home; walk the dimensions of your body.

1.15pm - Masses

A drift in search of spaces where the trivial becomes monumental and the monumental becomes cake decoration. A chance to give homage to the trinkets and fondle butchers in bronze.

We have been three years in making the new book, including walks in Shanghai, rural Zambia, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Manchester, Paris, the island of Herm... Mindful of at least a few of the ironies, impossibilities, contradictions and perils present in its title, A Mis-Guide To Anywhere provides a number of provocations for reader-walkers to make their own exploratory journeys in whatever environment they choose: metropolis, home town, countryside, holiday destination...anywhere. Anywhere you can walk slowly down the street without being shot at by Western contractors. Anywhere you can fall asleep on your feet. Anywhere you can reorganise buildings without permission. Anywhere the movie you always wanted to see is playing. When we published An Exeter Mis-Guide three years ago we were very surprised that it attracted a readership well beyond the bounds of the city - it's now studied in numerous theatre, fine art, geography and sociology departments in universities around the world. The fact that a guidebook designed for use in a small provincial English city could be used in cities like Bangalore, Melbourne and Washington inspired the making of A Mis-Guide To Anywhere.

About Mis-Guides

Mis-Guides are like no other guides you have ever used before. Rather than telling you where to go and what to see, a Mis-Guide gives you the ways to see your city or environment that no one else has found yet. A Mis-Guide is both a forged passport to your 'other' city and a new way of travelling a very familiar one. An essential part of the toolkit of any 21st Century survivor.

A Mis-Guide often takes the form of a guide book or a map. It suggests a series of walks and points of observation and contemplation within a particular town, city or landscape. Unlike an ordinary guide book, it is guided by the practice of mytho-geography, which places the fictional, fanciful, fragile and personal on equal terms with 'factual', municipal history. Author and walker become partners in ascribing significance to place. These types of Mis-Guides are produced by Exeter-based, site-specific artists Wrights & Sites, working with visual artist Tony Weaver.

Wrights & Sites is a group of artist-researchers with a special relationship to place.... The core members of W&S (Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti, Phil Smith and Cathy Turner) explore and celebrate site in many forms (domestic, landscape, public and forbidden) through site-specific performance, 'drifts', mythogeographic mapping, Mis-Guided Tours and published Mis-Guides. Wrights & Sites was formed in 1997.


SITE-SPECIFIC: The Quay Thing Documented

Out of Place: The Politics of Site-Specific Performance in Contested Space (a performance presentation)

Mis-Guiding the City Walker

A Manifesto for a New Walking Culture: 'dealing with the city'

Dread, Route and Time: An Autobiographical Walking of Everything Else

A Short History of the Future of Walking