Publication Details

Turpin, E. (2012). Robert Smithson's abstract geology: revisiting the premonitory politics of the Triassic. In E. Ellsworth & J. Kruse (Eds.), Making the Geologic Now (pp. 173-178). Brooklyn, United States: Punctum Books. https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ec81y2qyxmfxj2/Ellsworth_Kruse_Making_the_Geologic_Now_EBook.pdf


[extract] Politics, or "A Gnaw That is Ratting" In response to an artist symposium question regarding the "deepening political crisis in America," Robert Smithson published a piece in Artforum, September 1970, titled "Art and the Political Whirlpool or the Politics of Disgust." In it, he said: My 'position' is one of sinking into an awareness of global squalor and futility. The rat of politics always gnaws at the cheese of art. The trap is set. If there's an original curse, then politics has something to do with it. Direct political action becomes a matter of trying to pick poison out of boiling stew. The pain of this experience accelerates the need for more and more actions.