Editorial "du" 4/2005

A thousand-mile journey begins with one step. Fifteen years ago, Daniel Schwartz visited the Städel Museum in Frankfurt to meet Richard Long and to ask him to create a work of art in the form of a magazine. It was an idea by Dieter Bachmann, then editor-in-chief, who wanted Richard Long to leave his mark on “du” magazine. From that point on, a number of postcards and letters were exchanged between the editors and the artist.

Then, in the summer of 2004, a fax from Bristol reached the office. Hand-written, as always. The walk, time, and place were getting closer at last. At a meeting in London the following autumn, an agreement was finally sealed: Richard Long would create an issue of “du” magazine.

February arrived. Glarus was covered in deep snow when Richard Long came along, carrying mud from the River Avon in his backpack. With this material from his hometown river, he then created new mud works in the locations of the Galerie Tschudi. The splashes and streaks evolve when Richard Long, with his hands, quickly applies the white mud onto the wall, taking advantage of gravity to catch it on the black cardboard fixed below.

During the time the sun needed to melt the snow from the Glärnisch mountains, the present issue of “du” came into being. We met with Richard Long several times in Glarus, enjoying his dry sense of humour that not only flashes up in his works of art. Avon, for example, is Welsh for river – and it is typical of Richard Long’s fine British sense of humour to always make his mud works with “mud from the river river.”

When the works for the exhibition in Glarus were finished, so was this issue. To immerse yourself into the world of Richard Long, you have to rotate your position 90 degrees. You are then following the photographic tracks he left behind, especially in the Engadine. The text works in this issue are also tracks created during or after his walks.

Richard Long’s mud works are sculptures in their own right. They force the viewer to rotate the magazine back to its original position, to write another movement into space: gravity at work. Pictures of the Glarus mud works are published for the first time from page 36 onwards.

By means of this issue, the artist Richard Long, who mostly walks alone, lets us accompany him for a short way.

Published 29 April 2005
Original in German
First published by du 4/2005

Contributed by du © du Eurozine

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