On 6 June, 2011, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
launched Walk the Line, a dynamic site-specific sculptural artwork by the American artist Kate Gilmore on Exchange Square, London. Inaugurating a new strand of events, entitled Parasol Public, this public art project promises to be one of the most thrilling summer events in London.
For this project Kate Gilmore proposes a vibrant site-specific art work in Exchange Square, London. During the live performance, teams of eight women in two shifts will walk continuously on top of a red structure for nine hours a day; from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Members of the public will be able to walk both around the structure in order to experience the work visually and through the passageway beneath the platform to get a sensory experience of the women walking above. By creating such a visually striking and powerful work, Gilmore highlights and gives prominence to the daily life of professional women in the City of London.
The location chosen for the work is Exchange Square in the financial district of the City of London, where thousands of people pass by every day, either on their way to or from their place of work. The size of the structure (2.5 x 5 meter) is in keeping with the measurements of typical office cubicles and corridors in the neighbouring modern office blocks, where countless women work, perhaps without ever having noticed or reflected upon the effect their daily activities have on their body and stamina. The women who participate in Kate Gilmores project will resemble typical office workers and come from different backgrounds. With this art work Kate Gilmore comments on the meaning of labour and life in everyday conditions, and skilfully turns a mundane phenomenon into a thrilling visual spectacle. Concerned with the present, Walk the Line will reflect the daily rhythms of Exchange Square and the urban experience of London.
Kate Gilmore was born in Washington DC in 1975; she now lives and works in New York City. She is an installation, video, and performance-based artist. Selected exhibitions include the 2010 Whitney Biennial; the Brooklyn Museum; The Kitchen; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Bryant Park (Public Art Fund); Locust Projects; White Columns; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati; Artpace; The J. Paul Getty Museum; The Rose Art Museum; Istanbul Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, and PS1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center. Gilmore has been the recipient of several international awards and honors, such as the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Award for Artistic Excellence, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance, Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award, The LMCC Workspace Residency, New York Foundation for The Arts Fellowship, and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Residency. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art; the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.