Today, with time to spare, I went to Bristol’s Arnolfini Gallery to see Richard Long’s retrospective. See HERE. The following notes were made immediately after my visit, and are largely verbatim. Notes from the dark room are of the exhibition in near darkness, called By the Mark, the Deep, by Matt Davies and Milo Newman. The Photographs are from a walk I took after visiting Arnolfini, where I attempted (and failed) to find Richard Long’s Boyhood Line.
Liked the repeating motifs – the word association poem of a Scottish walk mentioned FLOOD as an associated word (associated to what I can’t remember); and then, on an adjacent wall, a photo from a walk entitled Flood, of somewhere else (possibly somewhere in Africa)
Circles in several circumstances, white wooden board on the floor in one room, photos of circles of boulders, remains of round buildings
A photo, taken outside a cathedral, showing a circle of white limestone, while in the gallery, a huge cross, using similar stone. The stone cross inside, more likely to be thought of as an X (this is an artist of maps and landscape, after all)
But viewed as a cross – divine, like a little church or sacred marker to the landscape outside
Dark room – very dark at first
Where are the walls?
Big, dull bulbs, and tiny LEDs
‘Soundtrack’ cracks, pops, a decomposing tape, I’m told.
Felt like a wildcamp, carefully pacing around, nervous about what or who might be around
A while passed and my eyes adjusted; someone entered, sat straight down
No stress. Eventually sit down myself, feeling comfortable, relaxed
Walk the room’s perimeter, trace the wall with my finger; a familiar space now
But still – all space, no place, just like that brief moment on a wildcamp, never to be visited again (though I will, to both previous wildcamp spots, and this dark room)
On my way out, buy an academic journal on ruins, and a book of interviews with Richard Long
These notes, written at the Lloyds amphitheatre, skaters making their own lines in the landscape.