“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
From Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
This is the first of my ‘Running Man’ series – Getting Nowhere Fast. It was made when I was working in high school as an art teacher. Although I loved my students and my work, everyday was sheer madness, a race of marathon proportion, running faster and faster in a desperate attempt to accomplish all required tasks. The image of the running man, stolen from Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of movement, perfectly symbolized my daily exhaustion and frustration. My experienced vortex of unattainable expectations and impossible demands are reflected in this mixed media work in which the act of running in all directions, within a confined space, is blocked on both sides. These bas-relief walls contain references to bones, shrouds and other symbols of the detritus of death toward which we are all running – a race to the inevitable land of Nowhere – a contest we cannot win.