A Relic of Love Saluting Smithson


Reading the collected writings of Robert Smithson, I immediately saw to what degree Cyprien Gaillard had become an artist on the foundations laid by Smithson. Gaillard’s video art can almost be viewed as a visualization of Smithson’s art writing. The symmetry of thoughts, words, views on the concept of recycling, visual shapes and sites- you could say that Gaillard had a ekphrastic love affair with Smithson.

Ironically, his unknown star pupil won the Marcel Duchamp Prize… someone Smithson thought was a snobby French alchemist of the worst kind (a one-off artist). Gaillard broke away from Smithson with his incorporation of the aesthetic value of beauty and his collaborations with a musician, Koudlam, bringing video relics back to the museum/ gallery. I enjoy Smithson’s art writing more than his aesthetic… never had a thing for spirals.