22 Sep 2011

22 Sep, 6:00 PM


Location: Auditorium Stedelijk Museum
Language: English
Entrance fee: Free with valid Museum ticket
Time: 8 pm - 9 pm
The Stedelijk Museum, Land Art Contemporary, and SKOR/The Foundation for Art in Public Spaces are proud to present the posthumous film recordings of Robert Smithson’s Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (1971). Forty years after the creation of the earthwork Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (1971) in the Dutch town of Emmen, a Dutch team has finally finished the film that land artist Robert Smithson was never able to complete.

In June 1971, American artist Robert Smithson (1938-1973) created the land art projectBroken Circle/Spiral Hill in a sand quarry in Emmen. Smithson was commissioned to do this work for the Sonsbeek buiten de perken (“Sonsbeek Beyond the Pale”) exhibition. Forty years later, the work in Emmen is once again intact and regularly visited by fans of Smithson's from all over the world. Broken Circle/Spiral Hill is Smithson's only extant earthwork outside the United States. The two other works are in Utah’s Great Salt Lake (Spiral Jetty) and Amarillo, Texas (Amarillo Range).

As part of every work, Smithson also made a film that revealed its spatial context. For example, aerial recordings in a symmetrical pattern were mounted with close-ups, documentary images, and sounds from the environment where the work was created. This way, viewers in galleries and museums could be introduced to works that were often located in inaccessible or inhospitable places. Smithson died in an airplane accident during an exploratory trip in 1973, bringing his life and work to a premature and tragic end, and leaving the film for Broken Circle/Spiral Hill unfinished.

Forty years later, a video incorporating the original film footage is now to be completed on behalf of the Land Art Contemporary program in a collaboration between artist Nancy Holt and curator Theo Tegelaers of SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain. Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson made several films together and were married for a decade until his death in 1973. Holt will work with a Dutch team in editing the video BREAKING GROUNDBROKEN CIRCLE/SPIRAL HILL (1971-2011), which will include the original film footage Holt shot in 1971, and video shot recently in Emmen by a Dutch crew. Smithson’s film notes and drawings are guiding the video production. The film will premiere on September 17, 2011 in conjunction with the opening of an exhibition program in the Centre for Visual Arts in Emmen, and will be followed by this one-off screening in the Stedelijk. Nancy Holt will be present on both occasions.

The film is part of a long-term Land Art Contemporary program, which starts with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Broken Circle/Spiral Hill’s creation. The LACDA Foundation in Drenthe is coordinating the program. For further information about the entire Land Art Contemporary program, please visitwww.landartcontemporary.nl