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Week 10: Land Art

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Mark Cheetham

FAH246H1 WEEK 10: Land Art 11/14/12 (half lecture only)  One of the paradigms of land art: relationship btwn rural and city. Land works being “cited” in difficult-to-access places; why is there an appeal to that?  See Heizer  Ppl were so fascinated by this opportunity to see the exhibition that they flocked to see it. Sense of social phenomenom  Eliasson’s work, The Weather Project, 2003 -> is about the weather.  A boulder was excavated from the desert and dragged through a specific route, and everone came out to watch.  Plays with the fact that we always talk about the weather, as a social convention/social mediation, but we’re not actually talking about the weather  The work was displayed alongside several visitor surveys that asked weather questions  Misty atmosphere; we can see the sun through a “haze”. There’s a mirrored ceiling. People came and spelled out words on the floor with their bodies, and this gets mirrored out on the ceiling. Was a big event. SOCIAL DIMENSION  Interactive environmental work of art. Sits inside some tension with other characteristic of land art - > its remoteness  “matters of concern:” this work elicits a kind of response  Morris, Earthwork, Installation. An Oldenburg container with earth and worms in the alcove.  Smithson’s Nonsite.  There are photographs in the background that show his original site, commenting on the relationship btwn site and “non-site.” But Smithson challenges the pre-eminence of the museum space in comparison to the original site. Here, he sets up the source of raw material as equally important to the museum  NE. Thing Co. ¼ Mile Landscape, 1969  Pun on “anything”  A sign saying “start viewing” that calls the viewer to “Start viewing”  A “conceptual” point to land art? But what can be more MATERIAL and physical than the field, highway, grass shown here? Yet the conceptual part lies in the perspectival shift; NNETCo the fake company is telling you WHAT to see   Humor can be seen in Bagged Landscape, 1966  Netco makes these wacky landscapes with real water, sand, etc. inside. Looks like landscapes  NetCo was founded by Ian Baxter, and he changed it now as Baxter&… he likes the idea of addition, of adding value and aesthetic interest  N.E. Thing Co. ACT ART  Aesthetic value of this art is the art  “act” stands for aesthetically claimed things. The document says, “NetCO claims this field to be an aesthetically claimed thing.”  “Art” stands for “aesthetically rejected thing” completely opposite of how we see art normally. He shows a picture of a David Smith sculpture. This sculpture was a canon of ab ex. NetCo thinks we often miscategorize art  NetCo mostly just wants to play around with art/have fun. Not shoving anyone down. Eva Hesse, Hang Up  This is not a piece of land art, but does some of the same things as NetCo. It makes us look hard at the norms of artistic hang ups. One of the norms is to hang art up and use this frame  Not really a sculpture but seems more like painting.  Is part of a series of art moving out of conceptual, going into the material discourse.  Alexander Calder, Grand Vitesse, 1969.  Tony Smith, Smoke, “Scale as Content” 1967  Is “sculpture in the expanding field” (someone describes Smith’s work)  In 67, Smithson wrote: “museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum. Painting, sculpture, and architecture are finished, but the art habit continues.”  The art habit is what Eva Hesse and NetCo makes us think about: the conventions and etc. we take for granted  Henry Moore, Three-Way Piece no. 2, “The Archer,” in Nathan Phillips Square, 1966  Even though this sculpture seems to look fine in the place, if you put it somewhere else, it would have also melded perfectly fine with its surrounding. Has its own high modern autonomy  Moore was so pleased that the piece could be placed there that he donated many works to Toronto  This is the kind of monument that by the 60s was radical for some places, but also criticized. This was paradigmatic high modernist sculpture   Morris, Untitled (Tangle), 1967  Did a variety of works: performance art, painting, sculpture, writer. Did pieces in the 60s that Hesse and others challeneged the hegemony of viewing, painting, and the wall as the right surface  So much of our physical and mental ways of viewing are influenced by the way works are displayed in front of us.  Feels more static than sculptures put out in public places  Movement of the inidivdual work. He claims “these works make themselves,” they are the shape they are once you hang them up  Oldenburg, Placid Civic Monument, Central Park, New York, 1967  Partly a performance and excavation. Hires ppl to come and dig up a hole in the siteline of a more traditional monument (the obelisk). This seems very humble, nor does it last  Issue over whether land art should last or not  Lipstick (Ascending), 1969  Pacifist monument, excavating and filling in. Activity is a work of art (this is conceptual basis)  Even more of this conceptual habitual work coming out of England  Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking  He walked back and forth until there was a line . Is process art and also land art  Relates to Native American housing, they made houses along a path?  Title here is printed right on the photo documentation  Is ritualistic  What is the status of the photo? Is it a work in its own right? Do we value it in
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