South America. [Spiral, Puma, Sun, Moon, Condor, Falcon, Rain]. - Richard Long
South America. [Spiral, Puma, Sun, Moon, Condor, Falcon, Rain].
First edition. 12mo. [30pp], b&w text and pictograms. Illustrated wrappers. Dusseldorf: Konrad Fischer, 1972.
Artists' name handwritten on the spine. Lightly rubbed wrappers.
Richard Long's early artist book South America includes small drawings of simple motifs that would become the foundations of his landscape work: sun circles, pebble drawings, ripples in water. The sketches were printed twice, once in positive (black on white), and once in negative (white on black), on the front and back of the same page. These simple pictograms are accompanied by a haiku-like text describing an action within the landscape.
DRAWN WITH MY HAND
ON THE SURFACE OF
LAKE TITICACA AT NIGHT.
Long recalls how the landscape and culture lent themselves to book form: "'SOUTH AMERICA' was made on the first big overseas journey Hamish Fulton and I made together. We landed in La Paz and travelled in Bolivia, Peru and Chile for almost two months. I had pre-conceived the idea for a book, but not the particular places or images it might contain. We travelled by hitch-hiking cars and communal trucks, on buses, on trains, by taxi, and by walking and climbing. We had a free and adaptable itinerary, often changing our plans on impulse or by circumstance. This fitted the general idea for the book, so that the great variety of places for the drawings occurred naturally, by chance, along the way. It is a book about movement, time, space, luck and opportunism. I had not seen the moon 'upside down' before. The positive/negative printing of the drawings comes from the characteristic of Indian weaving, and the cover drawing was influenced also by the traditional patterns of the blankets etc. we saw in the local markets."