[-empyre-] Re: Nonsite as information
jhaber at haberarts.com
Mon Jan 14 02:17:47 EST 2008
Brett was provocative, in part because it takes things where I'm not
going to go. I'm not sure what to think about the sublime, but I like
positioning the work specifically within the critical terms of its time,
of sculpture in the expanded field.
I hadn't really thought about his career as moving away from nonsites,
other than just a token mental acknowledgment that it all seems to come
together with those last big earthworks. I wouldn't put this in an
article, because who cares what I like, but one reason Smithson was hard
for me (other than friends who'd wave around old issues of "Artforum"
like the Dead Sea Scrolls) was that the triangular and other
arrangements of metal bins pretty much bored me. It was the first time I
saw the film of "Spiral Jetty" that just overpowered me.
Maybe I needed not just the site, but some hints of Romanticism like
earth movers in action, fading sunlight, and especially he himself along
the jetty. That and when, during the retrospective, they set out the
tugboat for "Floating Island," standing in Hudson River Park (which
didn't exist, of course, when he imagined the project) and then a few
days later jogging along the East River to see if I could outrun it. (I
more or less kept up.)
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