Activating archaeological sites with contemporary art, NEON presents Richard Long’s Athens Slate Line, positioned leading up to the shrine of Dionysos Eleuthereus on the South Slope of the Acropolis of Athens. The project, realised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is part of the initiative “All of Greece, One Culture”.
Richard Long has for many decades been associated with the emergence of Land Art in Britain during the 1960s. Central to his practice is the action of walking. He has created sculpture and Land Art using lines all over the world. Central to his practice is the action of walking. Drawing inspiration from nature’s processes and organic materials, his pioneering works attempt to mimic the experience of nature. His sculptures are usually in the form of geometric shapes (circles, lines, ellipses and spirals) and often consist of materials native to the place where they are created.
This particular work, Athens Slate Line (1984), consists of individual pieces of slate assembled to form a line. Its linear shape acts as a path, reminiscent of the meditative nature of walking. Walks combine physical endurance with the principles of order, action and idea, proposing a new way of viewing the wider area of the site.
A line has been at the core of Long’s practice. It first appeared in his seminal work A Line Made by Walking (1967), as a student at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London. He created this artwork by continually treading the same path in a grass field in Wiltshire.