“You’ll never have to buy another guidebook again” – The Times (15 April 2006)
“This wonderful little gem of a book is the latest from Wrights & Sites, who have taken theatre into everyday life, and breathed new life into theatre, with their site-specific performances, art-journeys and tourist mis-guides to Exeter and beyond. See it as a replacement for the I Ching or as a script for the play of your life. Buy it, tuck it into purse or pocket, and discover the theatre of life on and off the edge of the map.” – Total Theatre (Summer 2006)
A new kind of guidebook, A Mis-Guide To Anywhere, was launched at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in April of this year. Mindful of at least a few of the ironies, impossibilities, contradictions and perils present in its title, A Mis-Guide To Anywhere provides a number of provocations for reader-walkers to make their own exploratory journeys in whatever environment they choose: metropolis, home town, countryside, holiday destination… anywhere.
Three years in the making, and referencing walks undertaken in Shanghai, rural Zambia, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Manchester, Paris, the island of Herm, etc., A Mis-Guide To Anywhere provides an inspiration for destination-less travels, strategies for seeing the world in new ways through disrupted walking.
A Mis-Guide To Anywhere is the brainchild of Exeter-based Wrights & Sites, a group of four walking artists (Stephen Hodge, Cathy Turner, Simon Persighetti and Phil Smith) who are influenced by a range of nomadic practices, from psychogeography to experimental tourism. It has been created in collaboration with the visual artist Tony Weaver.
A Mis-Guide To Anywhere is like no other guide you have ever used before. Rather than telling you where to go and what to see, it gives you the ways to see your city or environment that no one else has found yet. It suggests a series of walks and points of observation and contemplation within any town, city or landscape of your own choosing. Anywhere you can walk slowly down the street without being shot at by Western contractors. Anywhere you can fall asleep on your feet. Anywhere you can reorganise buildings without permission. Anywhere the movie you always wanted to see is playing. Unlike an ordinary guide book, it is guided by the practice of mythogeography, which places the fictional, fanciful, fragile and personal on equal terms with ‘factual’, municipal history. Author and walker become partners in ascribing significance to place.
A Mis-Guide To Anywhere is financially supported by Arts Council England (Lottery Funded) & the Centre for Creative Enterprise & Participation at Dartington College of Arts.
Wrights & Sites is a group of four practitioner-researchers committed to producing work that responds to space and place, and the people who live, work and play in diverse sites and landscapes. Formalised in 1997 and based in Exeter (UK), the four core members are Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti, Phil Smith & Cathy Turner.