Casting a Glance

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

In 1970 Robert Smithson built his iconic Spiral Jetty, a 1,500-foot long sculpture of mud, salt crystals, and rocks jutting into Utah's Great Salt Lake, embodying elemental and philosophical principles essential to the artist's aesthetic. Smithson's film of the same name intercuts footage documenting the Jetty's construction with sequences in a natural history museum and his own poetic voiceover, the camerawork recapitulating the Jetty's form in swirling aerial shots, dazzled by the sun's reflections in the water. Benning first focused his camera on the Jetty when he searched for its remains during the cross-country motorcycle journey at the heart of his 1991 film North on Evers. At the time Benning supposed that "in a way [his] trip [had] ended there at the end of the spiral," however the coil's pull persisted # as an important reference in his 1995 film Deseret and then as the subject of casting a glance. Simulating the Jetty's thirty-seven year history, casting a glance records the shifting ecology of the Great Salt Lake's north-eastern shore, finding the earthwork "a barometer for a variety of cycles." Benning has created a work "that [Smithson's] film begs for, which pays attention to the Jetty over time."
- James Benning

Rental Fees

16mm film $500.00  

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