Ant Macari
'The Middle Way' 2011. DVD, Duration: 29 minutes.

"We are at present witnessing, both in Europe and America, a period of renewed interest in the Middle Ages, with a curious oscillation between fantastic neomedievalism and responsible philological examination."

Umberto Eco, 'Dreaming in the Middle Ages'

'The Middle Way' is a documentary video and series of still images that record a 'pilgrimage' across the sixty mile route known as 'St. Cuthbert's Way' from Melrose Abbey in Scotland to Lindisfarne in Northumberland. The work is a kind of parable about his faith in art. Macari undertook this pilgrimage route in the guise of a medieval monk, accompanied by an art crate that resembles an ark or chest that contains a holy grail. A mobile reliquary. He single-handedly pushed and dragged the crate from almost coast to coast. Just as medieval pilgrims undertook grueling journeys, or put set themselves arduous tasks to acquire spiritual wisdom, Macari does the same to acquire wisdom about the nature of art. Even at the end, we never see inside the 'ark': the nature of the artwork is a mysterious secret that remains intact. Creation is an act of faith; viewing art requires an act of faith on our part, equally, for it to move us at all. Such an expression of belief might seem absurd or ridiculous, but the will to undertake such a lengthy and burdensome task is proof of the adherent's true faith.

Alistair Robinson

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