Hamish Fulton

A Walking Artist

Preview Friday 24 March at 6:30pm

Curated by Muriel Enjalran

In partnership with Cairn Centre d’art, Digne-les-Bains.
With support from British Council and Fluxus Art Projects.

As part of its 40th anniversary, the Frac is supported by the Fondation Galeries Lafayette and the Château Bonisson.

The Frac is launching its fortieth anniversary with an exhibition dedicated to a major international artist. For almost fifty years, Hamish Fulton has been developing socially engaged work that concerns itself with the major environmental issues and challenges to which our societies must react today.

Hamish Fulton Mercantour 2022.
© Hamish Fulton

Since the early 1970s, this British artist has been roaming the world on foot. He has gone on hundreds of walks covering thousands of kilometres, and these alone constitute his whole body of work. Those solitary artistic experiments incorporate a wide range of practices that “attempt” to convey the experience of those walks: photographs, texts, text-photos, drawings, mural paintings, artist books, public readings… His work can be found in many public and private collections, and has been presented on the international scene for more than fifty years.

Hamish Fulton does not seek to change nature, but rather to show that it is nature that transforms you: for him, walking is an activist, political act. Within a humanistic approach, his engaged practice, which has broadened to include group walks, encourages us to think about our interdependent links with nature and our productivist model of society.

He does not see himself as a Land Art artist, nor as a performer or poet. “I’m often considered a sculptor or Land Art artist. I’m neither. I’m an artist who walks. I don’t work with any particular material. Working with one single element seems questionable to me. I don’t favour any of them. I’m free to combine the mediums I like, whether glass, wood, photography or video.”

For his project at the Frac, which is the first major exhibition dedicated to this artist for more than ten years, Hamish Fulton did a 21-day walk from 1 to 21 June 2022 in the Mercantour National Park, located east of Digne-les-Bains in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, departing from Barcelonnette.

The works resulting from that walk—particularly drawings and photographs—will resonate with a set of large mural paintings produced in situ, as well as framed text-photos, pieces of wood with handwritten texts, and other works. All of this will be deployed in the monumental space of the explorations room, playing with relations of scale, offering viewers a new physical and mental experience as they move through the exhibition—penetrating the landscape, following the skyline, or facing miniature landscapes stylised by wooden elements covered in handwritten texts. This connecting of the walks will sketch a journey over watercourses, along the coasts he walked, down the roads and paths he followed, and over the massifs he crossed from 1971 to 2022, all over the world.

The exhibition will continue 140 km away in Digne-les-Bains, where Cairn Centre d’art will present a set of works, several of which will evoke the political situation in Tibet, not far from the museum-residence of writer and explorer Alexandra David-Néel , who was the first European woman to enter Tibet.

At Cairn Centre d’art, Digne-les-Bains Preview of the exhibition Hamish Fulton at Cairn Centre d’art Saturday 25 March at 12pm. Exhibition from 1 April to 25 June 2023.

  • Frac - plateau explorations

    20 Boulevard de Dunkerque

    13002 Marseille

A selection of artworks in the exhibition