Tuesday, July 30, 2013

R.I.P. Walter De Maria

On 3rd July 2009, I walked the perimeter of Lightning Field in awe as a deer ran through the poles before twilight. A thunderstorm rolled in and we watched lightning strike for two hours from the cabin’s porch. I could fill the rest of this post with superlatives, yet no words or photographs adequately describe what we witnessed.

The following morning, I pocketed a few smooth, yellow stones from the center of the field, substituting them for a red rock from the base of James Turrell’s Roden Crater. “From one earthwork to the next,” I thought as I hurled the pebble collected from Lightning Field into Robert Smithson’s Amarillo Ramp a few days after.

I was deeply saddened after learning Walter De Maria died last week. Before leaving for Texas, I photographed a hardened chunk of loam from the New York Earthroom. I am racked with guilt by its presence but now I know what I must do with it. I am sorry that it took a great artist’s death for that revelation to occur.

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