Robert Smithson’s mirrored landscapes

Robert Smithson’s Chalk Mirror Displacement constructed at the Oxted chalkpit quarry, Surrey, and photographed by the artist 1969 (From Tate website).  This was a piece made by Smithson on a brief but highly influential visit to the UK .  Smiths travelled with Nancy Holt and they looked to stop at very significant places, including Stonehenge and the extraordinary Wistman’s wood on Dartmoor. To Smithson, mirrors were time machines that allowed the scene or image to be ‘displaced’ in time and space.

Robert Smithson CHALK AND MIRROR DISPLACEMENT 1969 Six mirrors, chalk from Oxted Quarry, England

The oxted quarry pieces

Yucatan Mirror displacements:

Robert Smithson yucatan displacement

‘ The mirror itself is not subject to duration, because it is an ongoing abstraction that is always available and timeless. The reflections, on the other hand, are fleeting instances that evade measure.’

Bargellesi – Severi, G (1997) Robert Smithson Slide Works . Italy and Los Angeles: Distributed Art Publishers.


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