A More Precise Distance Between the Reader and the Ultimate Visions
A More Precise Distance Between the Reader and the Ultimate Visions is a suite of works including a novella made for the 2013 exhibition “The Temptaiton of AA Bronson” at Witte de With, Rotterdam.
The project relates the traditional text-spaces of an exhibition (exhibition catalogue, guide, wall labels, and wall texts, etc.) to the text-space of Gustave Flaubert’s 1849/1856/1874 book The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Weaving together lines from this book, from Flaubert’s sources for the story (Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, etc.); from the whole corpus of Flaubert’s work (including his novels, novellas, plays, correspondences, juvenilia, travel diaries, notebooks, etc.); some secondary materials relating to The Temptation (Michel Foucault, Jonathan Culler, Julian Barnes, Maxime du Camp, George Sand); as well as Long’s own writing, this collage-text recuperates Flaubert’s story in relation to the exhibition; sometimes only tangentially making the relationship to the works in the exhibition legible. Much as Hilarion – the main antagonist in the story – guides Anthony through the various temptations, Long’s narrative acts as a metaphoric guide to the exhibition. In Flaubert’s telling of the story of St. Anthony, the book (as in the book – the Bible), though the source of Anthony’s faith, is the site from which desire and temptation arise. Long, similarly, turns to books, opening up his reading practice in order to see what apparitions and visions may come forth. Long worked with designer Mike Gallagher of
We Have Photoshop to design the exhibition guide and wall texts, and had some research assistance from Zach Seely.