News of a new documentary inspired by correspondence with JG Ballard. From the exhibition page:
JG is a sequel in technique to FILM, Tacita Dean’s 2011 project for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. It is inspired by her correspondence with British author J.G. Ballard (1930-2009) regarding connections between his short story “The Voices of Time” (1960) and Robert Smithson’s iconic earthwork and film Spiral Jetty (both works, 1970). The new 26 ½ minute work is a 35mm anamorphic film shot on location in the saline landscapes of Utah and California using Dean’s recently developed and patented system of aperture gate masking.
LRB has additional details here.
He sent her a piece he’d written on Smithson for a gallery, ‘Robert Smithson as Cargo Cultist’ (1997), and briefed her on his reading of Spiral Jetty:
Firstly, why a spiral jetty? What conceivable cargo would require a spiral jetty for its loading/unloading? Either Smithson was serious, or the jetty is just a 10,000-ton doodle with no particular significance. I prefer to think that Smithson was serious. My guess is that the cargo was a clock, of a very special kind. In their way, all clocks are labyrinths, and can be risky to enter.