In the vast and various field that is the debate about appropriation, histories are unearthed and identities bear fruit. What happens then, when an artist proposes to co-opt massive rocks that have fallen from the sky, unseen and unrecorded? Who lays claim to them when they lie on a monotonous terrain with just an empty horizon in sight? When the artist duo Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg planned to displace a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite from Campo del Cielo in Argentina for Documenta 13 in 2012, the Moqoit First Nation, for whom the rock and the place were sacred, protested and the work was withdrawn. Instead, the artists presented a large plinth made of oxidized iron, a monument of omnipresent absence, an empty pedestal awaiting some spectacular or alien arrival. While theorists since the Romantics have called upon art to “render the invisible visible,” the magic
Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.
Not registered for artforum.com?
SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*
* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.