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

Holt and Smithson in the Press: October 2023

From the Ground Up: Women Artists of Land Art

by Tom Teicholz

Forbes, October 8, 2023

“Groundswell: Women of Land Art is a milestone exhibition that just opened at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, and that reassesses and reasserts the importance of a coterie of women in the art historical narrative of works that have been labelled as conceptual, environmental, sculptural, and even as performance.”

2023 Research Fellowship Presentations

Please join us as our 2023 Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellows share their research projects, findings, and ideas in progress. Each Fellow will present an online webinar for 30 minutes with a question and answer session to follow. Webinars are free and open to all. Please register in advance through the links below.

You can find more about each fellow's project and past fellows on our Research Fellowship page. 

Chapter Five of Tuesday Texts

We are happy to announce that throughout October we will be publishing a fifth chapter of our Tuesday Text Series as part of our ongoing Scholarly Text Program, which invites thinkers to focus on a single artwork by Holt and/or Smithson.

Every Tuesday we will publish a text to our website that includes images selected by the author, a short bibliography, citation reference, and endnotes pointing to the author’s references.