AIN'T TALKIN', JUST WALKIN'
Ain't Talkin', Just Walkin'.
An installation of photographs, multiple objects and moving image.
Suspended between melancholia and whimsy, Maggy Milner’s installation of photographs, multiple objects and moving image reflects on issues in modern times. Ain’t Talkin’. Just Walkin’ is her response to Bob Dylan’s song, by the same name, released in 2006.
Bob Dylan’s Ain't Talkin', Just Walkin' was the last track in Modern Times, released in 2006. It’s compulsive listening and I have played it repeatedly, won over by the powerful repetition of words and the haunting, walking beat. The song raises questions but there are no answers. It’s a narrative with no ending, and no conclusion.
Ain’t Walkin’ is surely poetry and open to many interpretations. For me it is a tale about a solitary traveller, on a perpetual journey through a landscape ‘of sweet decay’ (1). He is on a perpetual, cyclical journey through a ‘mystical garden’, deep in his own head, thinking of the past, the present and the future. it’s a lonely man’s lament. There are disparate thoughts; seemingly disconnected references; some biblical; some historical; some contemporary. His head is full of vengeance, self-righteousness, regret and consuming guilt.
Although, the song appears to be autobiographical, it can also be read as a lament for humanity’s constant cycle of trials, errors and possible doom.
‘Despite what shiny surfaces the modern world gives us to polish,
if we stare hard enough into them we will see not only the reflection of the past but also the possible horrors of the future.’ (2)
‘Like Dylan, I am a traveller. My work is a kind of poetry. The message is not strident but enigmatic, carrying multilayered meanings. I draw on contemporary issues, alluding to polemics and divisions in societies. I make observations. I offer no solutions’.
“Modern Times,” places the listener in a landscape of sweet decay’ …
‘The protagonist seems to be searching for some sign of hope in the apocalyptic garden …’ (3)
(1) Alex Ross, New Yorker, September 18, 2006.
(2) The Pen of Chris Gregory, November 18,.2007.
(3) Alex Ross, New Yorker, September 18, 2006.
Maggy Milner 2013