New York

Richard Long

Sperone Westwater

An interesting aspect of Richard Long’s work, at least at this point in history, is how we believe him. When he says that he walked here or there and climbed this or that mountain in so many days, we take him at his word. No one ever questions whether or not he actually walked; how do we know he didn’t cheat, by driving or flying? Was he even there? Someone else could have taken his Lapland snaps. How do we know the granite is from California?

\It’s possible to see the Long persona, constantly on the move, as a fugitive—if not from justice, then from guilt. Unlike many other performance artists, Long performs without witnesses. Although his “evidence” would hardly stand up in a court of law (it isn’t even circumstantial), the transparency of his art, its scrupulous correctness, emits a kind of anxiety to prove innocence. The documentary nature of Long’s gallery presentations provides not

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