The Eliminator

Robert Smithson
Metal, reflective panels, neon
27 x 21 3/4 x 20 in. (68.6 x 55.3 x 50.8 cm)
Sylvio Perlstein Collection, Antwerp

Fashioned out of a zigzagging glass tube of flashing red neon light housed in a reflective metal frame, ​The Eliminator ​is a piece entirely comprised of its alternating presence and absence as the lights turn on and off. The effect is purposefully disorienting, leaving the viewer intermittently dazzled and blinded, with nothing of permanence to ground their perception—the mirrored surfaces reflect only empty space. Named after the winner in a drag-race, ​The Eliminator nods at the cheap thrills of American Pop culture, its dearth of physical substance indicating a vacuous preoccupation with appearance.

See Also