Unreal Nature

November 15, 2018

In Relation to the Whole

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:56 am

… I’m the measure against the place.

Final post from Richard Long: Selected Statements & Interviews edited by Ben Tufnell (2007):

… In one way it is a very strange way to act in life, making art in the way I do, by throwing water, or walking. Doing a normal thing for a different reason. … I come to some mountains and I move some stones around and then I disappear.

[ … ]

… If you put a circle down in any place in the world, that circle would take up the shape of that place. In other words, every place gives a different shape to a circle. The circle becomes like a thumbprint. It is absolutely unique. It is that place and no place is like another place.

[ … ]

Michael Auping: Would you say that each of your works expresses a different emotion?

Richard Long: No, no. But it expresses a different idea. Even though every walk is a walk, nevertheless each walk is about a different idea. It could be a straight line or about measuring time or about measuring distance or it could be about mapping my route by throwing a stone into each river crossed along the way. So in other words, the walking stays the same, but there’s an infinite variety of different ideas to which I can use it.

[ … ]

MA: I think what happens with all of your work is an expression of the part to the whole, always the part to the whole, so that you’re always aware of yourself in relation to the whole. You always make that very explicit.

RL: Yes. That’s the fundamental center of my work: my own personal relationship to whatever that whole is. Whether it’s a mountain or the walk or the size of the country from coast to coast. It’s also very important that my work is made by me, and I don’t mean that in an egotistical way, but in a fundamental one. … I’m the measure against the place. However heavy are the stones I can pick up, and how many, that will dictate the sculpture. That’s my energy.

[ … ]

… I think one of the ways you can see an artist’s life is that sense of purpose, that serous way you live your life that lasts all your life.

My most recent previous post from Long’s book is here.

-Julie

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