Ulrich R歡kriem cuts rectangles of stone from massive quarries, further divides these stones into pieces and places them in an exhibition space. Richard Long gathers accessible fragments of rock from the mountainside and lines them up in the gallery. I select a few stones from among the countless stones found along river sides and at stonemasons and then combine them with steel plates in museums.
While we all use stones, there is an even more fundamental resemblance among us. We all borrow our works of art from nature, we quote from nature. By looking at our works, your gaze immediately extends on to the quarries, the mountains, the riverユs edge, and finally beyond such spaces into infinity. Whether making the rocks into units, aligning them in neutral array, or combining them with steel plates, each is a suggestion of their infinite quality.
And while we can go on to say that using stones is an act of surpassing time or period, in the act of quoting, aligning, or combining the artist naturally takes into account his own position, todayユs process. The artist does not seek to make the stone look メstone-like,モ to express some other image, or to make it appear sculptural. The artist seeks to go beyond the stone, to penetrate the stone, and then join with the viewer in standing together in an all the more open world.
Even so, great differences still exist between my works and those of these two men. Even though the stones in R歡kriem and Longユs works come from some special territory, all of their stones are general, they ignore all individuality among the stones. it is as if importance for them lies in the general concept of a confirmed, defined stone. In that sense, the stone is shown as an extremely clear, transparent medium. No matter which space they occupy, they are always the same. On the other hand, while the stones that I use do not require a specific image or form, they are something vague, indefinable, that are, nevertheless, still defined by the space in which they are placed as メthat specific rock.モ This opaque yet individual existence allows a more direct dialogue with the viewer, one that surpasses the conceptual, the abstract, allowing an all the more real connection with the external world. And that individuality is even further heightened by the combination of stones with steel plates, by this connection with space-through these acts the stone, the art work becomes メthis thing here.モ
Thus R歡kriem, Long and I are not interested in the meaning of stone, its existence itself. Indeed, we are at a stark distance from the concept of enclosing a stone in the space of a work of art as an autonomous sculpture. I want these works before our eyes to allow us to see reality with an even fresher, more piercing eye, I want to open the doors to the ever-connecting world of infinity.
(translate Martha J. McClintock)