Vik Muniz, Brooklyn (Spiral Jetty after Smithson), 1997

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Virtuoso of the commonplace, Muniz creates witty conceptual tableaux out of humble matter-fake etchings out of miles of thread, cloudscapes from cotton or marble floor patterning-that comment wryly on history and memory, perception and illusion. Continuing his affectionate assault on the giants of twentieth century art, Muniz created a Lilliputian version of Spiral Jetty-the late Robert Smithson’s earthwork in the Great Salt Lake, Utah-out of dirt in his Brooklyn studio. While Muniz assumes the role of basement tinkerer to Smithson’s Faustian persona, both created earthworks with dizzying shifts in scale and a marked temporal aspect: Spiral Jetty emerges and disappears with the tides while its Brooklyn miniature was erased with a tilt of the table. Most importantly, Muniz highlights the crucial role that photography played in the Smithson “original,” a site-specific work whose remoteness is counterbalanced by the camera’s capacity for infinite reproduction and dissemination.

 

Posted on September 20 2012, with 168 Notes

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