Stones and Flies: Richard Long in the Sahara

Stones and Flies: Richard Long in the Sahara

Richard Long is a British land artist whose “walks” have included such far-flung places as the Australian brush and the glaciers of Iceland. The records of his journey, be they photographs, word pieces or objects he has collected along the way constitute his world-famous artwork. But before Philip Haas, no filmmaker had ever been allowed to accompany Long on a walk. Haas follows Long as he journeys across Algeria’s Hoggar, a volcanic, lunar-like landscape of the southern Sahara. Stopping to throw some stones around, up-ending rocks or just building a fire to boil some water for a cup of tea, all Long’s actions become rituals toward a remarkable art. By focusing on Long's preoccupation with the interchangeability of walking and art, Haas manages to capture the transformation of the landscape, both literally and metaphorically, as Long gives shape and form to a place that, to the uninitiated, seems featureless. His earthworks, stone sculptures, and sand designs are amazing to behold.

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Stones and Flies: Richard Long in the Sahara

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