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( Feb. 8th, 2012 10:06 pm)
I Philip K. Dick, The Cosmic Puppets.
II Philip K. Dick, Humpty Dumpty in Oakland
III Philip K. Dick, Mary and the Giant
IV Philip K. Dick, The Broken Bubble

Beginning of a reread of the oeuvre, which I may do over, as I've been distracted. Some really odd swerves of prose in The Broken Bubble, and I wonder what the novels would have been like if he'd gone back and edited them. Still have the moments to shock, and still that sense of so much of PKD's obsessions are there from the start.

V Hamish Fulton, Walking in Relation to Everything (Margate: Turner Contemptuously/Birmingham: IKON, 2012)

After a rather hollow opening - half a dozen conceptual sculptures and a Turner oil painting of a volcano - and a rather too rich follow-up - Nothing in the World But Youth - we now have a double bill of the first big Turner show (Turner and the Elements, which I ought to compare to Paul Nash:* The Elements) and another contemporary show, local boy Hamish Fulton (who I checked in the phone book, and is out near Broad Oak).

I first knew about Fulton as part of last year's Folkestone Triennial (which I don't think I wrote all of up), and a series of posters he had around the town for his walks. Then I suspect there is a piece by him in the Templeton (a series of seven letter words?) and I can remember seeing the piece with Rodney McDonald and Alistair Milne "Hitchhiking Times from London to Andorra and from Andorra to London April 1967", I guess in one of the Tates and at the Modern British Sculpture show at the RAA.

Fulton's practice is art through walking - each piece is a record of a walk: from coast to coast, from source to sea, from sea level to peak and back, in Britain, in Europe, in Tiber/Nepal and US/Canadian wilderness areas. There's a Burroughsian obsession with seven letter words (DUCHAMP/MESSNER/HABELER/MALLORY/HILLARY/TENZING/EVEREST), and there's something amazing about the sheer number of forty mile walks someone can pull off on the trot, and the way in which this can get conveyed in posters. I mean, you have to trust he's done the walk as they're aren't always photos and postcards. It has a distinct uncanny feel. Is it sculpture? I think so. But.

There's more Fulton at Ikon in Birmingham, and I plan to have a day trip there.

I hadn't planned to do the Turner show, because I wanted to read the catalogue first, and the Fulton intrigues me in a way that the Turner didn't - although the watercolours here seem to show Turner as a more abstract and dangerous figure than I give him credit for. He's a really odd establishment figure, who's also a tad subversive. The Tracey Emin of his day... I'll read the catalogue and go back to the show.

* I did not know that John Christopher lived in Paul Nash's house. Mind you, I didn't know that Paul Nash was significant when I took a photo of his plaque.


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