Unreal Nature

March 21, 2016

Something That Has Power

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:47 am

… Regardless of size, the cut has a meaningful effect.

Continuing through Michael Heizer by Germano Celant (1997):

[ … ]

“[In Displaced/Replaced Mass I] I used 30, 52, and 68-ton rocks because they are surrogate objects. In other words, a piece of rock can be a sculpture; you don’t have to make the sculpture. I want the thing to have power, so I find something that has power. I don’t care that much about what it looks like. The idea of the rocks was that they were surrogate objects, replacement objects, replacement for the art object. Something in lieu of a consciously created, highly surfaced, highly detailed, academically studied work of art. A piece of rock in exchange of all of that. What carries it? Massive weight.” [Michael Heizer]

[ … ]

… The freeing of nature into art occurs through a cutting. To cut is to think, to cut is to sculpt (from the Greek sek, to cut), in the sense of intervening decisively into a given material. All art is based on this piercing, which cuts out forms and surfaces, elaborates their situation in a two or three-dimensional context, designs their logic.

[line break added] A brushstroke or pencil mark, chisel blow or scissor cut, is no different from a dynamite explosion or an excavation. They are all decisive, absolute interventions that mark a surface or a mass. They trace a line, simple or complex, clean or jagged, that is always a stroke on the “skin” of the paper, canvas, wax, metal, wood, flesh, body, sand, stone or earthen crust.

[line break added] Regardless of size, the cut has a meaningful effect. First of all, it magnifies the support on which it takes place. It lays bare its stratifications and inner structures, revealing their magnetic, mysterious character, its aesthetic and physical arrangement, its unknown, secret composition, its physical, material pneuma.

Heizer Double Neg01
Double Negative

Through the cut, Double Negative declares its conceptual and metaphysical inclination: “In Double Negative there is the implication of an object or form that is actually not there. In order to create this sculpture, material was removed rather than accumulated. … The title Double Negative is a literal description of two cuts but has metaphysical implications because a double negative is impossible. There is nothing there, yet it is still a sculpture.”

Heizer Double Neg02
Double Negative

… Like all artists, he shows what cannot be shown, the essence of making.

My previous post from Celant’s book is here.




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