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Die Land Art als Film

Parallelen der Raumkonstruktion in Land Art und Film bei Walter De Maria und Robert Smithson

Ehninger, Eva

Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, Bd. 55 (2010), Iss. 1: S. 109–127

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Ehninger, Eva


In parallel to their monumental installations, which were built in the Western and South- western deserts of the U.S. in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a number of representatives of American Land Art have also produced works on film. Researchers have held divergent views about the importance of these films for the understanding of the installations and about their character as either independent works or mere documentations. This article takes a different approach and analyses an element common to both installations and films: the critique of conventional constructions of illusionistic space. The repudiation of conventional spatial structures and of the representation of perspective is discussed on the basis of works by Walter De Maria and Robert Smithson. A formal analysis demonstrates that the films go beyond merely showing the conception of space in Land Art installations. Instead, they perform a similar critique of conventional ideas of space with decidedly cinematic techniques.