Lost in Transition

bigfoot, lochness, and the spiral jetty.  Only two of these are fables.

[via Travelers Diagram] At the Guardian, Jonathan Jones stages a virtual exhibition (we used to call them "articles") of great lost, stolen, or missing art. Included in the list: the Gardner Museum's Vermeer, the recently stolen Scottish Leonardo, and Ryoei Saito's van Gogh Portrait of Dr. Gachet. The latter is probably lost like the Ark of The Covenant is lost: it's in some crate in some bankrupt Japanese company's warehouse somewhere.

But Jones ends, inexplicably, with Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty: "Since its construction it has vanished underwater as the level of the lake has risen. Films have been made, stories told about attempts to rediscover it (the British artist Tacita Dean is one of those who have gone looking). Recently, it is fabled, the spiral has started to resurface."

A FABLE?? Don't get me started, Jonathan. I don't know why, but September is the month for Spiral Jetty deniers. Last year, I took Artforum's Nico Israel to task for pretending the Jetty was unfindable, even though we'd just visited it.

This year, the lake level is so low, I was told (and I saw the pictures, JJ), you're able to walk the entire length of the Jetty. WMD's are a fable, Jonathan. Spiral Jetty is real.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: September 5, 2003.

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