On March 19, 2016, 200 people hiked along one straight long line directly through the open spaces and private yards of the Tarwewijk (Rotterdam). The group went through front doors and out backdoors into the neighbours yard on the following street. The continuous line included schools, churches, homes and gardens that were randomly selected. It crossed not only the picturesque places but also the architectural highlights, historical buildings, average homes, and forgotten corners. The line crossed seamlessly from one location into the next.
There were negotiations with each resident or owner of a location so that the line would flow without interruption. An important motive for the promenade was to create an experience of seeing a familiar urban environment from another perspective. Short Cut Tarwewijk is a poetic mechanism that sets the scene for equality and breaks apart hierarchies: equality because everyone is engaged in the same activity (in a line); power structures that fall apart because people see their surroundings in a different way.
As a result, the hike could create a reflection about the basic idea that a city is just a collection of properties and structures. ‘Maybe they will shed a new light on the lost, utopian idea of shared spaces or the communal.’
(Film/ Full HD: 30′:00”)