The Unwanted Boulder: An audio documentary about Smithson’s Broken Circle/Spiral Hill in The Netherlands

We are very happy to announce the launch The Unwanted Boulder, an audio documentary exploring Robert Smithson’s  1971 earthwork Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, commissioned in partnership with Land Art Contemporary. The audio documentary associatively explores the genesis of Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, which is located a sand quarry near Emmen in The Netherlands.

Narrated by musician Lee Ranaldo, The Unwanted Boulder has been created by Geert van de Wetering. The listener travels through Robert Smithson's world of art and ideas and his struggle with a huge, millennia-old boulder at the center of the artwork. Poet Iduna Paalman has created a new poem titled My Rock for this production, giving a voice to the unwanted boulder. Anja Novak, art historian and contributor to our Scholarly Text program, and our Executive Director Lisa Le Feuvre reflect on Smithson's work and ideas, while Tim Gunther interprets Smithson's voice and reads excerpts from his essays and interviews.

The Unwanted Boulder can be downloaded on podcast apps from December 1, 2022:

Credits for The Unwanted Boulder

Production and direction: Geert van de Wetering.

Narrator: Lee Ranaldo.

My Rock was written by Iduna Paalman, translated, and recited by Megan Garr.

Tim Gunther performed the voice of Robert Smithson.

Mixing and mastering by Arno Peeters.

The audio documentary is part of the program 50 years of Broken Circle/Spiral Hill. It has been generously supported by Municipality of Emmen, Holt/Smithson Foundation, Province of Drenthe, Prince Bernhard Culture Fund and Mondriaan Fund, and led by Anne Reenders of Land Art Contemporary Foundation.

Robert Smithson, Broken Circle / Spiral Hill (1971)
Photograph: Jan Niks, 1971
© Holt/Smithson Foundation / Licensed by Artists Rights Society, New York

Archived News

Announcing the 2023 Research Fellows

We are delighted to announce our 2023 Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellows!

Our Research Fellowships aim to encourage new research on the work, ideas, and creative legacies of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. We look forward to thinking with these four Research Fellows to expand and develop critical research on Holt and Smithson.

2023 Annual Lecture: Rebecca Solnit at the New Mexico Museum of Art

Holt/Smithson Foundation announces the second in the ten-year series of Annual Lectures, an initiative that invites artists, writers, and thinkers to raise questions and present research extending the creative legacies of the artists Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Over the course of a decade, the Foundation will partner with a new institution each year to host lectures in ten distinct locations, each significant to Holt and Smithson.

On Nancy Holt: Rita McBride and Aurora Tang in Conversation

To mark the closing of Nancy Holt: Locating Perception, Sprüth Magers is hosting a conversation between Rita McBride and Aurora Tang at the Los Angeles gallery. Holt's work remains crucial both to an understanding of land-based and conceptual practices of the late 1960s onward, as well as to contemporary approaches to the natural and built environments. McBride and Tang, who have long engaged with related questions in their projects and exhibitions, will discuss Holt's work and their varied practices. 

Research Fellowship Webinar with Margo Handwerker

Join us on Thursday December 15th for a webinar by 2022 Holt/Smithson Research Fellow, Margo Handwerker. Margo will share her research surrounding Robert Smithson's 1972 proposal for Lake Edge Crescents in Ohio.

Information and Registration:
Thursday, December 15th
10:30 AM Mountain Time
Margot will present for 30 - 45 minutes and a question and answer session will follow.
Register in advance for this webinar.