Artist vickiweitz will run for 26.2 hours along a pedestrian street in Kuopio. Starting at the same time as Kuopio Marathon (11 am. on Saturday 5th September) vickiweitz will run until 1.20pm on Sunday 6th September. She will run in silence. The audience is warmly invited to sit and watch her, support her, join her in silence and/or run with her.
Language enables us to constrain, reason and order life.
Language encourages us to make life fit us.
But sometimes, life just doesn’t fit, events happen that remind us that the very nature of our lives is unstructured, incomprehensible, beyond words.
Running allows us to access that very area of life that exists beyond reason, beyond sense. It provides the route past language, it allows us to just ‘be’.
Running shows us that life is an experience to be felt, not always to be understood, it allows us to experience life as it is, without borders of reason.
If you run far enough language becomes impossible: the body cannot speak, breathe and move all at once.
If you run far enough language blurs into the landscape: you blur into the landscape.
There is a transcendence.
It could be a means of escape.
It could be a protest.
It might not be beautiful.
This is the silent run.
This performance will be the third collaboration between vickiweitz and the Human Performance Unit at the University of Essex. With training, nutritional, psychological and medical support from leading sports scientists, she has previously investigated the relationship between sport and art with Three Step Endeavour (2012) and 26 marathons in 26 days (2013). For example when vickiweitz ran 26 full marathons over 26 consecutive days as part of Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, the Human Performance Unit provided regular interventions to ensure she was both physically and mentally safe and able to complete the project successfully. They will provide similar support for Running Beyond Language. As part of the collaboration, data collected from her performances has been used as the basis of scientific research papers that have been published and presented at conference.
In addition to physical/biological research vickiweitz is an artist whose extraordinary endeavours are a critical investigation into the social role of motivation, support and achievement. The participatory invitation at the heart of Running Beyond Language is crucial to the exploration of the social and political value of people running together, in silence, beyond words.