Long Walk (Video, silent, 2 mins 45 secs, installation 1994)
Long Walk documents a solitary walk through acres of empty office space in the City. The work references the British Land artist Richard Long’s epic walks through nature and the sculptural objects and texts that respond to the ‘natural landscapes’ he passes through. This de-politicised idea of the walk is taken indoors and re-activated to become a critique of the City’s wilful unregulated production of waste (speculative office space) and its confidence in high risk over development within the square mile where huge amounts of capital investment and resources are committed to bringing these ‘vacant possessions’ to ‘life’.
A young man (myself) walks into a distance through old and new office space towards a future that never arrives. The undead end landscape of capitalism. The meaning of this walk is ambiguous: is this man an unofficial avant-garde walking into abandoned corporate territory? Could this be evidence of the City’s ‘scorched earth’ policy- burning up its resources on itself, then retreating off-shore and taking its capital with it? Or are we seeing an anarchist visionary sleep walking across boardroom tables- the dreamy ruins of the capitalist empire with ‘change of use’ visions of homes for homeless, a white collar correctional facility and hydroponic farmland?
Artists in the 90s tended to ignore the City preferring to play up their role as The Finance world’s exotic ‘other’. A symbiotic relationships that suits both parties: one being the others shadow. The City has an interest in co-opting contemporary art and artists (aka as ‘the official avant-garde’) who are still seen as the’ higher’ man/woman to be used by corporate sponsorship as its ‘human’ shield of honour. Long Walk is sometimes shown as an installation with a large Richard Long style circle of office carpet fluff arranged on the gallery floor to accompany the large screen film projection.