The Flow of Water

HAMISH FULTON

30.06.2003 – 13.10.2003

Exhibition view Gallery DKM
Photo: Werner J. Hannappel
  1. WHY THIS PARTICULAR ROUTE?
  2. THIS WALK IS PART OF A SERIES OF WALKS ON EUROPE THAT I STARTED IN ENGLAND IN 1971: COAST TO COAST – RIVER TO RIVER – RIVER TO COAST. ALL ROAD WALKS, AND ROAD WALKING LEAVES NO FOOTPRINTS.

 

  1. WHAT ARE THE TOPICS OF THIS WALK?
  2. FIRSTLY, WATER. WATER IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE. TIMELESS WATER, NATURAL WATER. SALT WATER, FRESH WATER. THE FLOW OF WATER (STAGNANT WATER.). THE WATER OF RIVERS AND OCEANS CANNOT BE PRODUCED BY HUMANS. RAIN WATER. POLLUTED WATER, DEATH AND ILLNESS FROM CONTAMINATED WATER. THE INDUSTRIAL USE OF WATER. THE AGRICULTURAL USE OF WATER (WASTED WATER.) DROUGHT. (LIFE FORMS THAT EXIST IN WATER.) THE SALE OF WATER, WATER IN PLASTIC BOTTLES, THE THEFT OF WATER, DRINKING WATER SOURCES AS TERRORIST TARGETS, THE WATER WARS. (RIVER WATER AS AN INTERNATIONAL BORDER LINE.) SECONDLY, WALKING. THE WORLD WIDE EXISTANCE OF WALKING IN THE ERA OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE, JET, INTERNET AND FAST FOOD. FOOT TRAVEL, TO (MENTALLY) BE IN THE PRESENT CONCENTRATING ON ONE STEP AT A TIME. WALKING AS AN ARTFORM…(MAKE A WALK, WRITE A TEXT – READ IT TO AN AUDIENCE.)

 

  1. WAS THE WALK DIFFICULT?
  2. NO, IT WAS EASY. ALMOST LUXURIOUS. BUT, I DID NOT ALLOW MYSELF ANY OPTIONS. IT WAS ALL OR NOTHING. (DURING THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN SPAIN, MY PERCEPTION OF THE DISTANCE AHEAD OF ME WAS MEZMERIZING.)

 

  1. HOW DID YOU RESPOND TO THE ´SCENERY´?
  2. IN ONE SENCE, THIS WAS A WALK FOR THE EVENT OF WALKING NOT FOR THE ´SCENERY`. I REJECT ALL ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE ROMANTIC TRAVELLERS OF THE PAST. HAVING MADE MANY WALKS INVOLVING CAMPING IN THE HILLS – I FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO EXPERIENCE A WALK THAT ROUTED THROUGH URBAN AREAS. THE SECOND HALF OF THIS JOURNEY TOOK ME (FOR HUNDREDS OF KILOMETRES) THROUGH INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENTS AND CITIES. (AS AN ARTIST) I WAS ABLE TO CONVERT ´UGLINESS` INTO ´BEAUTY`. (THE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF ART IS THAT IT IS ALL ABOUT OPINIONS.) WHETHER I WAS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OR A TOWN, I ALWAYS OBSERVED CLOUD FORMATIONS. CLEAN OR POLLUTED, CLOUDS WERE MY CONSTANT ´SCENERY`. CLOUDS ARE PERPETUALLY CHANGING SHAPE. CLOUDS CANNOT BE SOLD.

 

  1. WHAT KINDS OF ART CAN RESULT FROM THE WALK?
  2. WALL WORKS OF ANY SCALE, DOMESTIC OR VERY LARGE. (TEXTS ETCHED INTO GLASS FOR WINDOWS.) FLAT PATH TEXTS – “THE WALK TEXT” SUNK INTO A PAVEMENT. MY SELF-IMPOSED RULE IS THAT I ONLY INSTALL ART ONTO THE FLATNESS OF EXISTING ARCHITECTURE SO AS NOT: TO CREATE SUNLIGHT SHADOWS OR BLOCK THE FLOW OF AIR OR INTERUPT THE FLIGHT PATH OF BIRDS. THIS ATTITUDE RELATES TO MY ´WILDERNESS` PRACTICE OF ´LEAVE-NO-TRACE` ( TO ATTEMPT TO LEAVE AS FEW TRACES OF MY PASSING AS POSSIBLE.) IT SEEMS, THAT IN WESTERN SO-CALLED ´LANDSCAPE` ART – WE HAVE ONLY TWO OPTIONS: EITHER PAINTING FROM THE PAST OR OUTDOOR SCULPTURE IN THE PRESENT. (I DO NOT REARRANGE PARTICLES OF NATURE OR REMOVE PURE FOUND NATURAL OBJECTS FROM THE LANDSCAPE TO THE CITY FOR SALE. ) I DO NOT MIMIC NATURE. (I BELIEVE, THERE IS ENERGY IN THE CONTRADICTION OF PRODUCING FIXED LOCATION URBAN ART ABOUT AN OUTDOOR WALKING EXPERIENCE. IN OTHER WORDS, DESIGN-AS-DECOY.)

 

ON MY JOURNEY TO THE HOOK OF HOLLAND I ´TOOK` MANY PHOTOGRAPHS. FROM THESE IMAGES AND MY WRITTEN NOTES I COULD PRODUCE A NORMAL MAILING CARD AND PUBLICATION. BUT I COULD ALSO MAKE AN ANIMATED FILM. (PHOTOGRAPHY NEED NOT BE ´A BAD HABIT` – IT IS ALSO INHERENTLY VERSATILE.) NOW I COULD CREATE CITY BILLBOARDS OR NEON SIGNS. WALKING – UNLIKE PAINTING OR OUTDOOR SCULPTURE IS NOT AN ART MEDIUM.

 

  1. WHAT DID YOU LEARN ON THIS WALK?
  2. THAT – IT´S – CHEAPER – TO – FLY!

Hamish Fulton, 2003

Ehibition view Gallery DKM
Photo: Werner J. Hannappel
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