Flâneurs (3 stars)

This article is from 2012


A walk on Edinburgh’s wild side

One can only hope that at least some of the ‘true’ events described in this one-woman show didn’t actually happen. According to young live art maker Jenna Watt, her close friend, Jeremy, was seriously assaulted in London, a large number of other friends of hers have suffered unprovoked violence in Edinburgh, and she herself was chased through the streets of Scotland’s capital by a stranger who meant her harm.

Concerned by the so-called ‘bystander effect’, by which the larger the group of onlookers, the less likely bystanders are to intervene to stop an assault, Watt has decided to become a flâneur (i.e. an artist who strolls the streets of a city excavating its hidden truths). Using the simple devices of an overhead projector, two audio interviews (one with a police officer, the other with a victim of random street violence) and a toy giraffe, Watt approaches her subject with a humour and a discursive informality similar to that of fellow live artist Rob Drummond; even if her simple approach struggles to carry the weight of her subject.

Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 26 Aug (not 17 & 18), 2pm, £8 (£6).


  • 3 stars

Jenna Watt. We've all seen it happen. We've all heard it happen. We've all crossed the road to avoid it. We've all stood by. We've all hoped it would stop. Flâneurs is a new work by Edinburgh-based live artist and director Jenna Watt. Flâneurs explores the nature of violence in public spaces, from a pedestrian subway…

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