The Installation Walk was part of Momentary Distractions – three works commissioned by the University of Leeds to Vanessa Grasse, Daliah Toure and Kathinka Walter  as part of DownTownDance project and in collaboration with Yorkshire Dance.

The walk is an active and physical experience of the urban choreography, soundscape and rhythm of a particular area of Leeds city centre. It explores ways to embody, perceive and connect with the urban environment; how to capture a sense of choreography and rhythm of the city and how different places make people feel and move.

I focused on the absence of places to rest or socialize, to sit and observe the environment. I noted how this is an intrinsic particularity of Leeds city center that fundamentally effects its rhythm and I started comparing the frenetic rhythm of Leeds with my own town Catania in Sicily.

The red chair was symbolic of a place to sit that would not normally be there, it was also a reference to a stillness that the city center is missing, an instigation and an invitation to people passing by and a landmark of places that reminded me of ‘home’. The chairs are also unusual resting places to experience different ‘urban performances’ that the city of Leeds unfolds.

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Listen to audio samples from the walk  

Quotes from participants

” You gave me permission of experience Leeds in a completely different way; I really felt like I looked at everything as if I was in an art gallery or looking at a stage- set…it was completely  fascinating…How exciting to feel part of such a vibrant all, encompassing piece of art,  to be such an active part of it… “

“…it was an experience that has heightened my senses within the city and helped me to see the city more.” 

“Heightened awareness…sounds blend into dual reality…The crowd at Briggate parts like a flow of water.” 

” This was like a gift, an opportunity to experience the city in non-consumerist way…The soundtrack helped me to heightened my sensory awareness…Assembly St chair was really choreographic, beautiful lines, perspectives, angles, people passing through.”

Concept, sounds, images by Vanessa Grasse

Thanks to Andy Wood