Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Bite 144: Giuseppe Penone - Tree of 12 Metres, 1980-2

Tree of 12 Metres, 1980-2, wood (American larch), 600 x 50 x 50cm, Tate Modern
Out of processed planks of timber the ancient technique of carving draws out the shape of a tree, wood removed ring by ring until twelve metres of tree - bottom to top and top to bottom - is exposed within two sawn pieces of wood, initially intended for construction.

Twin poles tower above, skeletal totems warning of the future potential for a barren wasteland where forests once stood.

Against a compartmentalised exploitation of nature, Giuseppe Penone reveals the potential for a more sensitive approach to the environment. Sculpture is engaged in a reconstruction through deconstruction, a turning back of the clock, pulling back to reveal the raw within the contained.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Bite 143: Richard Long - A Line Made by Walking, 1967

A Line Made by Walking, 1967, photograph, 38 x 32 cm
The artist paces an empty, nondescript field in the west of England for an indeterminate length of time. The act of walking, over time, creates a line: the sun catching the flattened grass enough to make this physical intervention visible on the landscape itself. 

The artist photographs the result, forming a (semi)-permanent record of a temporal performance.

As a work of 'art' the piece exists in many forms: as an action, a performance; as a temporary 'sculpture', flattened grass left to continuing growing as it had been, soon to disappear; as a photograph, captioned simply A Line Made by Walking, 1967; and as an idea, with the potential of the 'original' action being played out by others.