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Adventure Art and Art-Novel


In Basho's Footsteps is an artwork that began in Tokyo in 2014 as the artist Anya Gleizer and writer Pablo F. 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, in what would become a circumabulation of Tohoku, Japan's main island, following the footsteps of the 17th century haiku poet Matsuo Basho.

But the journey of In Basho's Footsteps continues: back in their studio and two years into the future the two artists are working to create a novel that combines prose, art, and poetry to reflect their journey through Japan. The culmination of this project, the publication of Oku no Kuro Gawa, is expected in winter 2016.

Valcarce and Gleizer at a poetry reading excerps from the upcoming book Oku no Kuro Gawa

This journey had already generated some other pieces, which have been exhibited in Edinburgh and abroad such as Leaf Storm, Video Haiku and Black River. However it is the artist's belief that the walking itself, the isolation in nature and the slow, human-powered nature of this adventure are in fact the core of the piece. Each stage of the walk was a dive that led to a deeper understanding - of the landscape and of myself, and of something else... but that is the subject of our book. Gleizer  and Valcarce explore 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 their own distance, as westerners, from Basho and his understanding of impermanence.

The project reflects a search for stillness that remains unchanged since Basho’s time, in a fast-changing contemporary world.



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


To see more art inspired by the In Basho's Footsteps Adventure


Read Press about the In Basho's Footsteps Adventure



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