Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art

Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970, from the documentary, Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art.


Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art

February 15,16 and 25, 2017
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Watch the Trailer
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art Trailer

with an introduction by Jim Shedden, Manager of Publishing, Art Gallery of Ontario

Directed by James Crump 
2015, 1h, 12 min.
Screened with Spiral Jetty
Directed by Robert  Smithson
1970, 35 min.

Troublemakers  unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desert spaces of the American southwest. The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative); a headstrong troika that helped established the genre.

Robert Smithson's film Spiral Jetty is a "portrait" of his monumental earthwork of the same name at Rozel Point in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Completed in April 1970, Spiral Jetty is an iconic earthwork and Smithson's most renowned piece. At 1500 feet long and 15 feet wide, Smithson's spiral of basalt rocks, mud, and salt crystals juts out from the shore and coils dramatically into luminous red water. The film documents the making of this earthwork, which has attained near-mythic status as it has disappeared and then re-emerged from the lake over the past decades.

“a gripping new documentary film” — The Guardian

“The film's generous views of spectacular works like Smithson's monumental “Spiral Jetty” and Heizer's “Double Negative” in Nevada (a huge trench bisected by a canyon) are best seen on the largest screen available.” — The New York Times

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