Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt. <i>Mono Lake</i>. 1968-2004. Super 8 film and Instamatic slides on video (color, sound), 19:54 min. Gift of Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis. © 2013 Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Land Art in the Long Term: Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson, James Turrell, and Others

Molleen Theodore

Thursday, April 4, 2013, 12:30–1:15 p.m.

Education Classroom B, mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

Art in the Long View at Lunchtime
In conversation with artists and MoMA Lecturers, explore long-term, process-based art and its impact on the experience of art. While many artists establish concrete goals, the processes we are interested in examining may span the lifetime of the artist, require ongoing participation or discussion, and be linked more to research and exploration than to a pre-established plan. Bring your lunch and discover how these challenges to the constraints of time and the expectations of final product and finality force viewers and participants to reconsider the role of art in society. This series serves as an incubator of ideas in advance of our upcoming Contemporary Art Forum on May 2 and 3.

In the late 1960s, a number of artists began conceiving of the land as a medium for their work. Located outside the confines of the gallery and often far from the conveniences of a city, these works challenged many paradigms: from finished creation to ongoing process; from indoor viewing to outdoor experiences; and from the enclosed studio, learned art practice, and the gallery and museum structure to the expansive landscape, extensive research, and government land trusts. We will examine works by Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson, James Turrell, and others from a variety of angles, and discuss the process and expense of creating land art (involving consultation with NASA or taxpayer money, in two examples) and maintaining works that are meant to exist forever (ongoing preservation or debates with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, for instance), although few will actually experience them in person. We will consider the quality of the experience of the work, from the ground in the form of a pilgrimage, in photo or film documentation, and from satellites. We will also look for historical precedent for this type of practice and experience: ancient ruins, religious sites, and even amusement parks. We will hear from people who have visited, or tried to visit, these sites, through video, photography, and quotation.

Molleen Theodore is the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Fellow in the Education Department at the Yale University Art Gallery, a critic at the Yale School of Art, and a lecturer in the Department of Education at The Museum of Modern Art. She received her PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2010 with her dissertation, "Beyond 'Meaningless Work': The Art of Walter De Maria, 1960–1977." She is currently supervising a student-curated exhibition of works from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, Fifty Works for Fifty States.

Tickets are free but required and can be acquired on a first-come first-served basis online or at the information desk, the Film desk after 4:00 p.m., or at the Education and Research Building reception desk on the day of the program.

To pick up tickets acquired online, proceed to the Education and Research Building reception desk at 4 West 54 Street beginning at noon on the day of the program.