Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The Spiral Jetty, Utah



The Spiral Jetty actually a monumental earthwork was created by artist Robert Smithson in April 1970. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a color film named “Spiral Jetty”.  It is located off Rozel Point in the north arm of Great Salt Lake Utah entirely of mud, salt crystals, black basalt rocks and water. Spiral Jetty is 460 m long, 4.6 m wide coil that stretches over 1500 feet into the lake. Although, you may consider as symbolize of large-scale earthwork of land art. Unquestionably the spiral Jetty is an exceptional art historical reputation and its exclusive exquisiteness have drawn visitors and media attention from throughout Utah and around the world. In the normal precipitation, water level stays a level, but varies with precipitation in the mountains surrounding the area, exposing the jetty in times of drought and submerging.

Therefore, spiral jetty is sometimes visible and sometimes submerged depending upon the water level. Moreover due to consistent ruddy water and salt encrustation, the black basalt rock emerges in large white rock. Moreover, during the construction of the jetty, Robert Smithson & his wife wrote and directed a 32-minute color film, Spiral Jetty and funded by Virginia Dwan and Douglas Christmas. In the movie, Smithson recorded his voice displaying natural history museum, prehistoric relics, construction process, earth history and his interest in geology, astronomy, paleontology, mythology and cinema.

Robert Smithson selected the Rozel Point site, due to red blood color water and connection with primordial sea and stark anti-pastoral beauty and industrial leftovers from adjacent Golden Spike National Historic Site, as well as an old pier and a few unused oil rigs. The thriving Salt-tolerant bacteria and algae make the red hue water, although isolated from fresh water. The construction company moves the rock into lake by a large tractor and a front end loader to haul the 6,650 tons of rock and earth into the lake. However, Smithson initially faces difficulties to motivate the contractor to accept this strange proposal along with land rights and earthmoving equipment. The construction took six days when the lake water was unusually low due to drought. So when the water level comes back make the spiral jetty invisible. In 2002, the area experience another drought revealing the spiral jetty second time. This time spiral jetty remained visible almost a year due to lowering the water level. The similar scenario happened in the year of 2005, 2010 and 2011. As off 2015, spiral jetty is above water and complete visible.

However, Smithson died in a plane crash in Texas three years after finishing the spiral jetty and has led to a controversy over the preservation of the sculpture. The Utah state has owned the sculpture in 2011 due to exposure and growing number of visitors. Though, it is expected that jetty will again disappear once the drought is over. So, spiral jetty surfaced many times between 1970 and 2015 due to lake-level fluctuations and survived robust wave erosion; the hard salt crust maybe cemented the boulders together and provided a protective layer on the jetty surface. Source: Charismatic Planet