27
Jan 06

THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT LOST

The Brown Wedge • 617 views

Spiral Jetty cleanup: Utah officials last month removed several tons of junk from Rozel Point, the area along the Great Salt Lake’s north shore that is home to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.   ”Anyone who has made the trip to see the famous Spiral Jetty . . . has passed through the area and certainly noted that it was an eyesore,” says Joel Frandsen, director of the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, which supervised the cleanup along with the state Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. Workers removed 18 loads of junk and plugged more than a dozen abandoned oil wells. Salt Lake Tribune

I wrote here a little while back about how the spiral jetty was contained in a failed oil bed, and that the point was that Smithson considered his work in a larger context, of how people interfered with the land, and how it was considered an extension of modernist obsessions with industry. Cleaning it up, making it pristine, is removing the context entirely. The Tribune placed this as a last item in a series of exhibition notes, calls for submissions and minor news, like a “isn’t that nice coda”, ignoring the damage done.

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