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SECRETS OF THE DOMES: ON “THE DOMAIN OF THE GREAT BEAR”

SOMETIMES AN EDITOR JUST NEEDS TO FILL THE PAGES. Or so Mel Bochner recently remarked, explaining how his collaboration with Robert Smithson, “The Domain of the Great Bear,” found its way into Art Voices magazine forty years ago this month. In this case, the fact that the publication’s editor, Sam Edwards, took a dim view of the artistic community’s increasingly theoretical peregrinations during the mid-’60s only helped the duo’s chances. The vague sense of befuddlement Edwards apparently felt at their idiosyncratic proposal to look at “cultural architecture and museums” was, according to Bochner, one that the skeptical editor was all too happy to pass along to his readers. And, it turns out, his attitude was not entirely out of keeping with the underlying spirit of the project: The artists’ desire to work within the magazine format reflected their awareness of the increasingly significant

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