Here, the act of walking is a kind of performance in which many different situations converge, both the unexpected and those that are deliberately sought out. These different situations produce various ideas and images that contribute to our sense of place. Walking is a way of searching out new experiences, a way in which to observe the internal workings of a town, discovering points of interest, territories and hideaways. In Criss Crossing, Jordi Lafon’s residency project and exhibition at BCA Gallery, the artist used walking as a means to really see a place. The place in which the project is located is Bedford. The visual material he collected whilst walking was transferred onto the walls of BCA Gallery using pencil. This act was repeated for the duration of the exhibition, producing layer upon layer of information about the town in which he was temporarily based.
Travelling to Bedford from Barcelona, Lafon viewed things in the town often overlooked by its residents. Wandering on foot and exploring its streets, he photographed the landmarks, the situations and the sights that seduced him first.
A selection of the images were then projected onto the walls of the gallery, enabling him to trace with pencil the images that captivated him. As part of the Criss Crossing project Lafon led artist tours around the town of Bedford, inviting participants to contribute to the drawings that became part of the giant mural in the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Lafon believes that the memory of walking through the town, and of sharing in its life, will stay with all those who experience it. The pencil drawing remained on the gallery walls for the duration of the exhibition as the tangible result, until the final act in the performance, when the gallery walls were painted, white and the mural sealed forever.