Sunday, November 20, 2005

Desert circle

You can download for free from Ubuweb an MP3 of Richard Long reciting his text piece Desert Circle.

And if you buy Hamish Fulton’s book Wild Life, you get a CD in which he recites his text piece Seven Days and Seven Nights Camping in a Wood, Cairngorms, Scotland, March 1985.

In their original form these text pieces retain the spatial quality of art; recited they are given the temporal quality of writing. The walks themselves (the actual art works) took place in an ordered way over time. But the recollection and record of them need not have this simple linear progression.

Despite the direct language used by Fulton and Long, a pattern of words on the page or on the wall leaves some distance between the viewer and the original experience. A recital, especially one in which the artist himself speaks the words, is another step in the transformation of the art work, taking it closer in form to the original walk, but leaving less space for the viewer to experience their own version of the art work.

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