Inside the Spiral: The Passions of Robert Smithson – Suzaan Boettger

1960s: Days of Rage

Robert Smithson, walking on Spiral Jetty, 1970, Great Salt Lake, Utah.

Mortal Coil: Resurrecting Robert Smithson • Zack Hatfield. “Astonishingly, it has taken fifty years since his death for a ‘life’ of Robert Smithson to emerge. Then again, the endlessly polysemous nature of Smithson’s art, the vertiginous heap of writing on him already out there, and his own profound ambivalence toward the very enterprise of history—collective and personal—make him a rather daunting subject. The prospective Smithson biographer, over the winding course of her inquiry, must advance despite so many taunting aphorisms like signs telling her to turn around: ‘The self is a fiction which many imagine to be real.’ ‘History is a facsimile of events held together by flimsy biographical information.’ ‘Vanished theories compose the strata of many forgotten books.’ Suzaan Boettger’s book is, fittingly, a counterhistory. The cover of Inside the Spiral: The Passions of Robert Smithson features…

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