Wednesday, February 25, 6 pm
Tyler School of Art, Lower Level South, B04
Introduction by Jenna Price and Sarah Muehlbauer, participants from Performing Land Arts: The Philadelphia Experiment
1970, 35 min, color, sound
The film Spiral Jetty is a "portrait" of Smithson's monumental earthwork of the same name at Rozel Point in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Completed in April 1970, Spiral Jetty is an iconic earthwork and Smithson's most renowned piece. At 1500 feet long and 15 feet wide, Smithson's spiral of basalt rocks, mud, and salt crystals juts out from the shore and coils dramatically into luminous red water. The film documents the making of this earthwork, which has attained near-mythic status as it has disappeared and then re-emerged from the lake over the past decades. A voiceover by Smithson illuminates the ideas and processes that informed the evolution of the work, with allusions to prehistoric relics and radical notions of space, scale and landscape. Poetic and oddly hypnotic, the film includes stunning aerial footage of Smithson running along the length of the glowing spiral in what seems like an ecstatic ritual. The film Spiral Jetty, together with a series of photoworks taken during the construction of the earthwork, have become integral parts of the overall project.
1978, 26:31 min, color, sound, 16 mm film on video
Sun Tunnels documents the making of Holt's major site-specific sculptural work in the northwest Utah desert. Completed in 1976, the sculpture features a configuration of four concrete tubes or "tunnels" that are eight feet long and nine feet in diameter. The tubes are positioned to align with the sunrise and sunset of the summer and winter solstices, and are also pierced by holes that allow light to be cast in patterns of constellations. A kind of American Stonehenge, Sun Tunnels charts the yearly and daily cycles of the sun, and calls attention to human scale and perception within the vast desert landscape. This document includes stunning footage of the changing sun and light as framed by the tunnels on the solstices.