Reading the titles of the Proboscis e-book series, Material Condition, I couldn’t help being attracted by Ruth Maclennan’s publication: Reflections on the city from a post-flaneur.
As her own website tells us, Ruth Maclennan’s artworks grapple ‘with the relationship between the present, the only moment of experience—irreducibly subjective, visceral yet evanescent—and the linguistic and visual representations of memory that inform the present to create a necessary illusion of continuity’. She has been selected as one of the eight professional creative practitioners to reflect on the material conditions of their own practice in the current uncertain and unstable situation for the art sector.
In her publication, Ruth Maclennan defines the flaneur as a nomadic and bohemien man, a male ‘symbol of the artist – authentic and unsettled, unable to stay still’ and she reverses this idea presenting a new kind of flaneur that, endowed with two additional eyes, is able to shape and read the reality in a different way: the artist-mother.
A female figure that ’embarkes on her dèrive daily’, determined and without anti-bourgeois statements on her side but with a trasformative presence that gives her the opportunity of re-reading and narrating the city.
The twelve-page essay is a flanerie in the relation between the artist-mother and her child, as a potential power to change society’s priorities and an opportunity to look at this pair not only as a family-consumer target for cultural institutions but also as a source for new exchanges and contributions.
To read the complete e-book or to print and be involved in the process of making real the ebook through the Diffusion eBooks’ process (warning: be patient!) go to http://diffusion.org.uk/?p=2574.