Walk Earth Talk
1992. April Greiman (artist) and Lucille Clifton (poet). 11" square plaques,
725 S. Figueroa Street
April Greiman translates the primordial forces of nature into a sublime visible language by laying out 30 granite pavers incised with Lucille Clifton's poetry into paths and places on the floor of the pavillion behind the office tower facing 7th Street. Each panel is like a vent through which a voice, shaped by letters and words with different colors, sizes and fonts, bubble up from the depths of the earth and populate the plaza. This panels form a series of patterns that flow one to another in tempos measured by the gap between the tiles. A chorus of panels around the edge of the roof garden, link "Earth" "Walk" "Talk" with the motif "hear" and "here." A duet emerges at the center of the plaza by the rapid staccato-like sequence "hear" "here" "hold" "here" "us" "hear" "here" "touch" crossing the slower more melodic line "here" "you" "hear" "me" "here" "hold" "hearing" "you" "hold." Though these lines can be assembled into a poem, the pavers can be reassembled into an infinite number of new sequences and fragments, each with its own color, rhythm and pitch by moving at various speeds and direction through the plaza. "Walk Earth Talk" recognize the viewer as an integral part of the delicate balance of nature. By bringing the spirit of the nurturing earth mother into a space that is defined as male by the surrounding tall powerful buildings, it subtly but fundamentally changes the character of the place without altering its appearance.
Text provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, October 1998.