night walk for edinburgh
The image of the street comes up on the screen. It appears that it has been shot in the exact location that you are standing in, almost as if it is in real time. A figure walks past on the video as another passes by in the real world, the two realities aligning. The sounds from the headphones are startlingly three- dimensional, further merging the two worlds in front of you. A female voice close behind you says: ‘I think we should get started. Walk with me…’
Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller use Edinburgh as the focus of one of the mesmerising video walks for which they are acclaimed throughout the world. Following Cardiff’s voice and walking in her footsteps, you (the observer) are led through the backstreets of the Old Town, unravelling a disjointed tale – part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry, perhaps even a murder mystery – layered with history, invention and memories.
The walk uses a digital tablet and headphones, and features actors, dancers, musicians, and a vast array of locals, some aware and some unaware of the filming.
Within the walk, Daniel Pioro performs extracts of two pieces of music for solo violin, tanz.tanz by Reiko Füting (2010) and the chaconne from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita no.2 (1720).
Night Walk for Edinburgh was commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery and presented in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival and in association with Edinburgh Art Festival. It was produced by Sam Woods.
photography by Chris Scott, courtesy of The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh