“My first impression was of a dusty distant untouched space, ”begins Lucy Lippard’s text in Cracking (1978), an artist’s book that she co-authored with Charles Simonds and that served as an exhibition catalogue for a show of Simonds’s sculptures in 1979. The black-and-white images in each spread depict the tiny dwellingssmall structures, mounds of mud, heaps of rocksof an imagined group of what he called Little People, for whom Simonds constructed diorama-sized site-specific villages that were nested in and around art institutions and crumbling buildings in New York and in other cities around the world.
“As I walked with my eyes, inwards, a delicate dusting of green became apparent.”Far from the imagined scale of Simonds’s constructed world, Lippard had to “walk” visually, finding frames that could be interpreted as mesas and plains, some place to be inhabited by humans.
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