Distance: 5 miles
Today Ciwt took one of her many hikes through and to Andy Goldsworthy's four site specific sculptures in the San Francisco Presidio. Down to the main parade grounds through Wood Line, Goldsworthy's second sculpture which has areas of such serious rot Ciwt is likely to outlive at least parts of it. Then to his third installation, Tree Fall, which is housed in an old gunpowder magazine. It is closed to visitors during the pandemic as is his fourth Presidio work, Earth Wall. Both are made of wood and surely are deteriorating. Finally up the hill to his first Presidio sculpture, Spire, which was a recent victim of serious arson.
If Ciwt didn't know Goldsworthy's artistic philosoph,y seeing all this evidence of decay would be disheartening. But, looking at his works as Andy does, she can be interested. He knows the very instant he calls a work complete is its high point. From that moment on it belongs to nature and the passage of time. This he expects. As he has said about his work: It's not about art, it's just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last.
So now instead of feeling sad as she sees the changes in the sculptures, Ciwt tries to be sensitive and alert, just know and observe that, in his words, "Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit." And she finds learning how to look in this more what? detached? interested?, humble? way is also a process.
From that point of view, even the charred Spire has a new magnificence in its blackness.*
*(maybe, and same goes for the deteriorating tree limbs in the other pieces. It's a process...)