Part 4, Project 2 (It’s about time) – Research point

Richard Long: Curator’s Talk

Notes

  • Richard Long, Bristol, 1945
  • Heaven and Earth explores relationship between art and landscape
  • 1960s: abstract expressionism, pop, and British abstraction start to fade. Anti-form, conceptualism, land art, minimalism, performance art, and process art start to arise.
  • ‘art as idea, art as action’ (idea = concept / action = energy, motion)
  • A Snowball Track, 1964
  • walking as a medium uses ‘time as a fourth dimension…scale of distance travelled’, served as solution to constraints of scale and proportion
  • simple forms (line, spiral, cross, circle)
  • shifting away from tradition
  • re-contextualisation of sculpture (placement, media, ephemerality, change, event)
  • creative process over final product
  • art outside the gallery
  • A Line Made by Walking, 1967
  • photography as simply documentary -> photography as an artwork
  • sculpture to represent time and place
  • John Cage
  • ‘world itself is a work of art’
  • ‘art is in the choice of the place’
  • relative position of viewer to art work

Reflection

There seems to be a fine line between photography that simply serves as a way of documenting something and photography that can be appreciated as a work of art by itself. I consider a photograph to be a work of art when I’m able to see past its subject and be engrossed by the technical and/or emotional value of the image (light, makes me feel…, mood, color, forms, composition, message, etc). Photographers such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Shōmei Tōmatsu, Man Ray, Nan Golding, Noel Oszvald and Hubert Crabières are able to do this. In contrast, the photography in National Geographic is incredibly beautiful, yet I can almost never see past the animal, person, thing, or place they’re depicting.

I also think that there has to be some level of abstraction for something to be art, meaning at least one element that goes beyond the literal, some form that is just a form, some way of representation or symbolism, an interpretation by eye or hand of the artist, in effect that it becomes more than just a depiction of reality.

I’m not sure what I think of Richard Long’s work. Some of his works, especially his series of lines made by walking, I find very intriguing. I can see that they describe time and distance (point A to point B), place, simple forms, yet something about them does not feel like art to me. I like them, but I would call them something else (visual philosophy? geometric time? conceptual movement?). Neither does his photography seem like art to me (I see it very documentary even after his curator’s explanation). Regardless, I can appreciate his works as explorations of time and/or place and our relationship with nature.


Bibliography

Long, R. (n.d) Richard Long Official. At: http://www.richardlong.org/index.html (Accessed on 31 July 2017)

Tate. (2009) Richard Long: Curator’s Talk. At: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/audio/richard-long-curators-talk (Accessed on 31 July 2017)

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