Bliss and his wife, Anna Campbell Bliss, had known Smithson and his wife the artist Nancy Holt for about a year, having been introduced through their mutual friend, curator and arts administrator Jan van der Marck. From lecture to magazine article to touring work of art, Hotel Palenque may have originated in Utah, but as with other works by Smithson think the Spiral Jetty in formats of earthwork, film, essay, etc. Transcending place through travel and performative action were additional ways Smithson broke down conventional forms of art. The lecture became the performative platform for a meditation on the entropic process found within one building, not a straightforward discussion on indigenous architecture, as the students expected. Images span a building in ruin, stasis, and current repair. It should be starting to take shape in your mind at this point.

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There, Smithson executed six individual works, including the Yucatan Mirror Displacements [2] , which were made by installing inch-square mirrors at a range of outdoor sites that were then photographed. Smithson links the serpentine layout of the hotel to a former name for Palenque, City of the Snake and, throughout the lecture, addresses the students in a manner that assumes they shall one day trek to the Yucatan to visit the hotel.

A molding on a stairwell in the tower is described in relation to the hollow psychoduct that channels the spirit of the king from his tomb, and an unfinished swimming pool " One photograph of a section of sheared-off floor is described as a "spiky, irregular, cantilevered effect" and another part of the building without a roof represents a "roofless motif". Smithson hedges his statements with adverbial qualifications like "sort of" and "kind of", and specifically aligns the center-less layout of the hotel with the object-less directionality of his talk.

A paved path in the hotel courtyard " You should be getting to the point that I am trying to make, which is no point actually. I never found out while I was there but it just seemed to suggest some kind of impermanence. Machines like dinosaurs must return to dust or rust. One might say a "de-architecturing" takes place As Neville Wakefield observes: "The protracted pauses that laconically punctuate each call for the next slide [become] fault-lines in the continent of thought.

Here the glacial drift of perception and cognition causes ideas to buckle or be pulled to extremes of uselessness, the space of sculpture alternately compressed and attenuated. In the Hotel Palenque the traction of empirical truths and steadfast geographies is lost. As the artist had written in "A Sedimentation of the Mind; Earth Projects": "When a thing is seen through the consciousness of temporality, it is changed into something that is nothing. This all-engulfing sense provides the mental ground for the object, so that it ceases being a mere object and becomes art.

For his piece Monument to Entropy Hotel Palenque [28] , Jeremy Millar visited the hotel with his wife and made his own set of photographs. And on his blog Centre For The Aesthetic Revolution, curator Pablo Leon de la Barra writes of his own ten-year obsession with the work, visiting and documenting the hotel in , and for many years trying to see the installation in its slide-tape form.


Hotel Palenque




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