RETHINK 1: Spiral Jetty (Revisited) at the National Gallery of Denmark

45 min.

Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson, 1970, 35 min.
Robert Smithson’s iconic work of land-art “Spiral Jetty” is without compare the largest reference piece within modern land-art. The work is a 450 meters long spiral build by Smithson himself out of mud, rocks and salt crystal. The work has received an almost mythical status for many reasons. It is placed at Rozel Point in Great Salt Lake, Utah and has several been under water for long periods at a time. We present Smithson’s own filmic portrait of “Spiral Jetty”, documenting the creation of the work. The movie is a hypnotic journey into the work through the voiceover about Smithson’s reflections about the idea and process.

(Insecurity Zone (Spiral Jetty)), Nikolaj Recke, 2009

In summer 2009, Nikolaj Recke visited “Spiral Jetty”. Blindfolded and lead by instructions, he went out on the spiral-shaped and rocky jetty. The video paraphrases a well-known recording of Smithson running out onto the jetty immediately after its completion – a paraphrase in itself to another canonical piece from the period, Vito Acconci’s “Security Zone” (1971), where the blindfolded artist with his hands tied is lead around New York City’s pier area by a stranger. “Insecurity Zone” can be viewed as a personal tribue to the two pieces, but also as an unpretentious commentary about contemporary art’s eternal attempts to approach art history. It depicts art history as both a mental and physical space where it is hard to gain foothold while moving in spirals – and it is uncertain whether you are lead or blind.

Camera and guide: Jacob Lillemose.
Artist Talk: at the screening on Sunday the 15th at 2pm, artist Nikolaj Recke and curator Jacob Lillemose are present to talk about the idea behind the piece.