Tuesday, June 23, 2009
THEN AND NOW
After parking the rental car 1/2 mile away and walking toward the jetty, I was under the impression that the dense pile of rocks in the water had to be Smithson's artwork but was taken aback because it was not covered with salt as it was the last time I visited four years ago. The rocks, from a distance, looked as fresh as the jetty in the photographs from 1970 - black basalt removed from the hillside and deposited in the water before the salt and algae would alter the rocky surface. Given the large amount of rain that had fallen in the last week, we were not even sure we would see it and were very surprised that not only was it visible, but that the water didn't even reach the beginning of the "arm." There were sand banks in the middle which allowed us to walk across if we wanted to without even getting our feet wet.
I asked Nancy to recreate a photograph that was taken of me at the jetty in 2005 just for comparison. I am in awe at how much it had changed and would conclude that it looked more beautiful covered with salt and pink water surrounding the entire sculpture HOWEVER I enjoyed not getting my feet wet or cut on the salt deposits. After this visit, I also felt like I had experienced it more in the manner that Smithson had when it was first constructed.
We spent six hours constantly working on video projects, photographs, and performances: Nancy's hair twirl and spinning in the middle of the jetty, eating peanut butter, dipping water color paper, burying an object, collecting rocks, and immersing ourselves in the land.
The element of scale is a much discussed topic so far this week... it is shocking how distance doesn't look as far as it is until one of us walks 25' away and instantly looks small. I wasn't standing that far away from Nancy when the above photograph was taken but I could have been half way across the Great Salt Lake.
As we packed up our pink inner tube and gear in preparation for our walk back, an airplane did a flyby, circling the jetty twice. We waved and thought they must think our fluorescent pink inner tube spoiled their view. In fact, that pink inner tube has helped me overcome any hesitancy I may have had in photographing these spaces because now I know full well, that whatever anyone else may have taken pictures of here, they did not include a pink dress performance in the middle of the spiral as they did on this day.