Walk On: From Richard Long To Janet Cardiff - 40 Years Of Art Walking, 2013.

Julian Opie discusses walking in a text for the exhibition Walk On, which opened at Pitzhanger Manor Gallery in 2013.

My father used to say that the only really new experience for mankind is speed. I have grown up moving through the world; driving, flying, on trains and bicycles and boats, and of course, walking. I know the world as much by this moving, ever-changing landscape, as by stopping to look at the view of a static one. Japanese woodblock print landscapes suggest this movement. Roads and paths and rivers, winding across the picture with hikers and boats and birds moving through them. Images in a series often along a famous road. Trees or plants passing close by in the foreground.

In the 90s I discovered a new form of moving with Lara Croft through the jungles of the computer game Tomb Raider and now there is the street view of Google Earth. The surging movement of street views sliding from one still image to the next in progression does not entirely work but is probably closer to real human eye brain-reading than movies are. I took a circular walk with my son around our holiday home in mid France. He counted twenty steps and I would then take a photograph. I then made paintings from each view. When seen sequentially they create an ever changing but constant and endless landscape.



March 26, 2013