Instead of causing us to remember the past
like the old monuments, the new monuments seem
to cause us to forget the future. Instead of being
made of natural materials, such as marble, granite,
or other kinds of rock, the new monuments
are made of artificial materials, plastic, chrome,
and electric light. They are not built for the ages, but rather
against the ages.They are involved in a systematic
reduction of time down to fractions of seconds,
rather than representing the long spaces of centuries.
Robert Smithson (Passaic, New Jersey, 1938-1973) was one of the most revolutionary artists of the 20th century. His great work Spiral Jetty was built at the Great Salt Lake in Utah; it embodies the spirit of some of the biggest monuments of past civilizations and at the same time is contemporary both in concept and execution. Smithson was a prolific and original writer, whose points of view deeply affected the course of American contemporary art.
Robert Smithson. Selección de escritos [Selection of Writings] gathers some of the texts published by the American artist in the magazines Artforum, Arts International and Arts of Environment between the years 1966 and 1973. His analytical and critical approach to art and the social, cultural and economic dynamics that surround it, make his writings both a part of and apart from his artistic work.
As Damián Ortega states in the book presentation: “Although Smithson always manifested a constant interest in landscapes and Pre-Columbian archeological zones and was a dedicated student of Mesoamerican cultures, this is the first time a selection of his writings is translated into Spanish and published in Mexico.”