movement and change are the very conditions of nature,
and the elements are constantly weaving themselves together
complex patterns. This poses a constant challenge - not just
this kind of land art, but for life in general."
Fra "Krakamarken - Land Art as Process" av Jørn
Rønnau, stedskunstner og skulptør.
Site specific art (stedskunst)
Site specific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place.
Typically, the artist takes the location into account while
planning and creating the artwork. Outdoor site-specific artworks
often include landscaping combined with permanently sited sculptural
Indoor site-specific artworks may be created in conjunction
with (or indeed by) the architects of the building. More broadly,
the term is sometimes used for any work that is (more or less)
permanently attached to a particular location. In this sense,
a building with interesting architecture could be considered
a piece of site specific art.
Land art (landskapskunst)
Land art or earth art is a form of art which came to prominence
in the late 1960's and 1970's primarily concerned with the natural
environment. Materials such as , sticks, soil, plants and so
on are often used, and the works frequently exist in the open
and are left to change and erode under natural conditions. Particularly
large works are sometimes known as earthworks. Many of the works
were ephemeral in nature and now only exist as photographic
The movement was inspired mostly by modern and minimal movements
such as De Stijl, Cubism, Minimalism and the work of Constantin
Brancusi and Joseph Beuys. Many of the artist associated with
'Land art' had been involved with Minimalism and Conceptual
Art but according to the critic Barbara Rose writing in 'Artforum'
in 1969 had become disillusioned with the commodification and
insularity of gallery bound art. The sudden appearance of Land
Art in 1968 can be located as a response by a generation of
artists mostly in their late twenties to the heightened political
activism of the year and the emerging environmental and womens
The movement was 'launched' in October 1968 by the group exhibition
'Earthworks' at the Dwan Gallery in New York. Perhaps the best
known artist who worked in this genre was the American Robert
Smithson whose 1968 essay "The Sedimentation of the Mind:
Earth Projects" provided a critical framework for the movement
as a reaction to the disengagement of Modernism from social
issues as represented by the critic Clement Greenberg. His best
known piece, and probably the most famous piece of all land
art, is Spiral Jetty (1970), for which Smithson arranged rock,
earth and algae so as to form a long (1500 feet) spiral-shape
jetty protruding into Great Salt Lake in Utah. How much of the
work, if any, is visible is dependent on the fluctuating water
levels. Since its creation, the work has been completely covered,
and then uncovered again, by water.
Smithson's Gravel Mirror with Cracks and Dust (1968) is an example
of land art existing in a gallery space rather than in the natural
environment. It consists of a pile of gravel by the side of
a partially mirrored gallery wall. In its simplicity of form
and concentration on the materials themselves, this and other
pieces of land art have an affinity with minimalism. There is
also a relationship to Arte Povera in the use of materials traditionally
considered "unartistic" or "worthless".
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