Entertainment 50 years of "Spiral Jetty" in Utah

50 years of “Spiral Jetty” in Utah

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Vor half a century in early April 1970, Robert Smithson commissioned a Utah construction company to build a spiral pier in the Great Salt Lake. Heavy trucks toppled black chunks of basalt into the water in the next few days, and despite a change in the original planning, the fill was quickly completed.

It runs from the bank at a right angle on a straight line into the lake and then turns to the left in a spiral. However, this does not narrow towards the center like a snail shell. The distances between the arches remain the same, and so the whole facility shows that it has no ambitions to blend in with the environment as organically as possible. She wants to remain a foreign body.

Moles below the water surface

After its completion, the “Spiral Jetty” disappeared under the surface of the lake for almost thirty years due to the rising water level. The boulders only came to light again in 2002, now in a white salt crust. Before that, the work was hard to find, and when you found it there was nothing to see. Tacita Dean documented her ultimately unsuccessful search in 1997 in a small radio play.

Recently, more and more art tourists have come, but for most who are interested in the work, the journey is too difficult and too expensive. For them there are photos and especially a half-hour film made by Smithson himself. With this and with an essay published in 1972, the artist has decisively shaped our image of the “Spiral Jetty” to this day.

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