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In Basho's Footsteps journey and resulting Artist's Novel, Oku no Kuro Gawa


In Basho's Footsteps began a walking artistic journey that began in Tokyo in 2014 where the artist Anya Gleizer and poet Pablo Valcarce hoisted on their backpacks and started to walk steadily north. Their journey would continue for three months and 2,000km as they hiked first north, then west, then south again, in what would become a circumabulation of Tohoku, Japan's main island, following the footsteps of the 17th century haiku poet Matsuo Basho.

In Basho's Footsteps continues as an ongoing project that has resulted in poetry, two solo-exhibitions of Gleizer's paintings, and now the upcoming Artist's Novel Oku No Kuro Gawa. Which Valcarce and Gleizer expect to present in early 2018. Oku No Kuro Gawa brings together painting, poetry and visual art to create and intermedia work of enormous layering - each medium works independently to convey the displacement, searching, and impermanence that power the plot. Seen as a single whole, the effect of Oku No Kuro Gawa is one of haunting tranquility and quiet - much like peering into the depths of a deep-running river. We cannot discern the layers anymore, but the movement of the river is articulated, slowly, ineluctably, carrying us towards the brink.

see below for some paintings from the upcoming book.

"It is my belief that wandering itself, the isolation far from human-activity, in nature, and the slow, muscle-powered pace of this adventure are, in fact, at the core of the piece. Each stage of the journey was a dive that led to a deeper understanding - of the landscape, of Japanese culture, of myself, and of something else... but that is the subject of the novel. Oku No Kuro Gawa explores the themes of Basho’s own work, but also the vast distance time and globalization have created between the ancient and modern Japan. As well as my own distance from Basho and his understanding of impermanence.

More than anything, this project reflects a search for stillness that remains unchanged since Basho’s time, in a fast-changing contemporary world.: – Anya Gleizer

To read more about the In Basho's Footsteps Adventure.

PRESS about In Basho's Footsteps


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