Share your interest in Robert Smithson, particularly his shell and mirror pieces on or inspired by Sanibel Island.
Smithson is a fascinating artist. He is probably best known for his massive earthwork Spiral Jetty, but he also made photographs, sculptures, and published essays on a wide variety of topics. He had a major impact on contemporary art, particularly concerning notions of time and place. Smithson sought to transcend the particulars of historical human time to attempt a more universal geological time.
Lauren Festernstock: Sanibel Island from Joe Karably on Vimeo.
He made a photowork in Sanibel titled Mirror Shore (1969) in which he uses mirrors to break up the landscape with reflections of the sky. In my homage to this piece, I replace his clear mirrors with black ones, inspired by the Claude Glass, a black mirror dating back to the seventeenth century used for viewing the landscape. Smithson took pains to capture an undifferentiated landscape, but in response, I attempt something seeped in many layers of specific history. Chasing his ephemeral work, I realize that I am also historicizing it. I like that there is a bit of a contradiction in that. The mirrors in Smithson's Mirror Shore reflect light back into the landscape, whereas mine seem to absorb all the light that surrounds them. I think his works have an optimistic manner in their attempt to transcend human culture, where mine have a slightly more insidious tone as they are cast in the shade of history.