The New York Earth Room (Walter De Maria, 1977) is located in an expansive gallery filled with waste-high dirt. You can’t photograph it, or walk on it. You just look at it, feel the moisture and smell the earth. It’s frozen in time. It consists of a vast main space once site to large-scale installations by the likes of Dan Flavin, and perhaps most intriguing, a smaller gallery, the project room, nestled in the back. You can catch a glimpse inside, see that the dirt continues, and spot a few light cans and then only imagine what is unseen. It’s a bit like imagining what is happening at the wreck of the Titanic at this moment. Or inside one of the pyramids. The experience most impressed upon me outside the odd smell of fresh earth, notable in a city often noted for its less than fresh odors, was the forced perspective. As a viewer, you are allowed a very narrow vantage and are left wondering what it would be like to stand at tantalizingly unreachable vantage points.
|Entrance to The New York Earth Room • photo: Art or Idiocy?|