TABLE OF CONTENTS

Being There: Art and the Politics of Place

THREE ARTISTS ARE INTERVIEWED by Avalanche magazine. The sessions are conducted on various occasions in December 1968 and January 1969, the results published the following year. What do they talk about? Earthworks. And because the artists are those exemplary practitioners Dennis Oppenheim, Michael Heizer, and Robert Smithson, their exchange seems to conform to now-predictable lines. Each man seems to be “in character,” which is to say that by the late ’60s each was pretty well prepared to lay down the tenets that guided his practice in the out-of-doors. By this time, Oppenheim had already made a cut in a California hillside and lines through deep Maine snow. Smithson and Heizer, by contrast, were still searching for their ideal locales.

The artists do not agree. Their dispute concerns the Earthwork’s site and its relationship to the gallery or, in the shorthand of the conversation, the “

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