Some Fifty Miles of Concrete Pavement is a collaborative project between David Birkin and Jeremy Hutchison. On a day in April, David walked 25 miles northeast across the Mojave Desert, following Walter de Maria's now vanished Parallel Lines(1968). At the same time, Jeremy left his studio in east London and walked 25 miles southwest. They failed to meet in the middle.
For a period of two months, the two artists worked in geographical isolation from one another: David in the US, and Jeremy in the UK. Taking Eisenhower’s 1953 speech The Chance for Peace* as their starting point, the collaborators soon veered off course, wandering through conversational territories in their effort to find common ground. The projected video is part of a whole body of works consisting of sculpture, video, sound, text and photography, which documents the complications of this virtual exchange, and their repeated efforts to meet -- both physically and ideologically -- and to bridge the ocean between them. Some Fifty Miles of Concrete Pavement is an attempt at correspondence. It is a monument to the mismatched: a study of conflict from conflicting perspectives, and an exercise in equivalence. It is about proximity and scale, land art and Skype. It’s also about friendship.
* 'Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. [...] The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.' President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
A few words about ''agents'' David Birkin & Jeremy Hutchinson
David Birkin (b. 1977) is an artist working between New York and London. He is a graduate of Oxford University and the Slade School of Fine Art, and was a studio fellow at the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. Birkin started out photographing subjects on the periphery of conflict -- such as the training of female journalists in Kabul, the founding of Afghan Film, and conscientious objectors during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War -- before starting a non-profit lecture series on art and politics. He has performed in films by Nathaniel Mellors for the ICA, Tate Triennial, British Art Show, Hayward Gallery, Venice Biennale, and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and narrated the English translation of Chris Marker and Alan Resnais‘ 1953 film Les statues meurent aussi at the French Institute in London. Birkin has exhibited internationally at the Courtauld Institute, The Photographers’ Gallery, the Mosaic Rooms, Saatchi Gallery, HotShoe, Cøpperfield and Trolly Books, London; the Solyanka State Gallery, Moscow; Photomonth, Krakow; Tallinn Kunstihoone, Estonia; Benaki Museum, Athens; Gervasuti Foundation, Venice; Centre d'Art et Photographie, Lectoure; MUDAM Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg; FotoFest, Houston; MoMA PS1 Rockaway Dome, and the Whitney Museum ISP, New York.
David Birkin official website www.davidbirkin.net
Jeremy Hutchinson (b. 1979) is a British artist based in London. Having studied linguistics, he received a distinction from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. He constructs situations that disrupt the power relations encoded in consumer capitalism. His work has exhibited internationally, including recent shows at at ICA, London; Modern Art Oxford; V&A Museum, London; Z33, Hasselt; Nassauischer Kunstverein, Weisbaden; Saatchi New Sensations, London; Rurart, Poitiers; Galeri Mana, Istanbul; Paradise Row, London and Southbank Centre, London. He was recently a member of the Whitney Independent Study Program, NYC and is currently artist-in-residence at [space], London.
Jeremy Hutchinson official website www.jeremyhutchison.com