Smithson's Broken Circle/Spiral Hill Revisited

Welcome to the Indian Summer of Dutch public art. This fall sees a project called Land Art Contemporary, on and around Robert Smithson's 1971 earthwork Broken Circle/Spiral Hill near Emmen, Holland. Land Art Contemporary has been instigated by SKOR, the foundation for art and the public domain that will close down in 2012 due to budget cuts that are anything but apolitical.

From 17 September to 27 November, the CBK in Emmen will show the documentary exhibition Robert Smithson in Emmen - Broken Circle/Spiral Hill Revisited, as well as The Ultraperiferic, a show with work by three contemporary artists who respond to Smithson's practice and Broken Circle/Spiral Hill. Also on view at the CBK is Breaking Ground: Broken Circle/Spiral Hill 1971-2011, a video by Nancy Holt on the basis of Smithson's plans for a Broken Circle/Spiral Hill film, which was never completed. Some footage had been shot during Smithson's lifetime, but funding for several crucial extra shots was not secured; Holt's version combines old with new footage.

The final element is the publication Robert Smithson: Art in Continual Movement, which contains a rich collection of documents pertaining to Broken Circle/Spiral Hill as well as number of newly commissioned texts. Eric de Bruyn and I contributed a dense dialogue on Smithson and the cinema, which manages to take in a great deal of subject matter along its rambling way. Due not entirely to Eric and me, the publication has been delayed somewhat. Robert Smithson: Art in Continual Movement (published by Alauda Publications in Amsterdam) is now scheduled to come out in March 2012.

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Image (from the book): Lee Ranaldo at the fence. Ranaldo's notes on his searches for/visits to Broken Circle/Spiral Hill are referenced in our dialogue, and they are reprinted in this book.