Richard T. Walker
Richard T. Walker, the possibility of foreverness, 2011, Fuji Crystal Archive Print, 49 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Christopher Grimes Gallery."
Richard T. Walker, between distance and a mountain, 2012
Richard T. Walker’s works use video, photography, music, text, and spoken dialogue to muse on the experience of the solitary human figure in nature. Nodding to nineteenth-century Romanticism, the three-channel video installations i know you are everything but i still want you to be everything (2010) and the speed and eagerness of meaning (2011) show Walker from behind, dwarfed by the sweeping vistas he stands before. His verbal introspections—narratives taking the form of diary entries, letters, or imagined dialogues—accentuate the lopsidedness of each liaison, disclosing a quiet frustration with his inability to effectively negotiate his experience with nature through thought or language.
Walker’s project for Radio Break, titled between distance and a mountain, intervenes in advertising, urban, and radiophonic space—spaces in which cultural meaning, desire, and reality are in perpetual collision. An oversized image temporarily mounted on the façade of ForYourArt depicts a voiceless, solitary figure grasping at a distant mountain, the disembodied peak of which contains the words with which to speak. Tuning in to a local FM frequency, we listen to the absurdist tale of this figure’s futile quest, the mellifluous composition of music and dialogue calling the power of language into question, rendering it vulnerable as reality and illusion join forces, and meaning collapses.
Walker received an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2005. In 2010, he had solo shows at Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis, Angels in Barcelona, and Christopher Grimes Gallery in Los Angeles, and at the San Francisco Arts Commission as part of “Transplanted,” a series of commissioned projects. The artist has participated in group exhibitions internationally, including “Don Quijote,” Witte de With, Rotterdam; “Romantic Damage,” De Appel, Amsterdam; “Beyond The Country,” Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; “Terminus,” Para/Site, Hong Kong; and “Meditators,” National Museum, Warsaw. Walker has also held residencies throughout California at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside; the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito; and the Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga.