Famous Quotes & Sayings

Robert Smithson Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 49 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Robert Smithson.

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Famous Quotes By Robert Smithson

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Art history is less explosive than the rest of history, so it sinks faster into the pulverized regions of time. — Robert Smithson

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Language should be an ever developing procedure and not an isolated occurrence. — Robert Smithson

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I am for an art that takes into account the direct effect of the elements as they exist from day to day apart from representation. — Robert Smithson

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One day the photograph is going to become even more important than it is now ... But I am not particularly an advocate of the photograph. — Robert Smithson

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For many artists the universe is expanding;
for some it is contracting. — Robert Smithson

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From the top of the quarry cliffs, one could see the New Jersey suburbs bordered by the New York City skyline. — Robert Smithson

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Words for mental processes are all derived from physical things. — Robert Smithson

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The memory of what is not may be better than the amnesia of what is. — Robert Smithson

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A camera is wild in just about anybody's hands, therefore one must set limits. But cameras have a life of their own. Cameras care nothing about cults or isms. They are indifferent mechanical eyes, ready to devour anything in sight. They are lenses of the unlimited reproduction. — Robert Smithson

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Museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum. — Robert Smithson

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Visiting a museum is a matter of going from void to void. — Robert Smithson

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Establish enigmas, not explanations. — Robert Smithson

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Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is. — Robert Smithson

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Abstraction is everybody's zero but nobody's nought. — Robert Smithson

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The museum spreads its surfaces everywhere, and becomes an untitled collection of generalizations that mobilize the eye. — Robert Smithson

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When a finished work of 20th century sculpture is placed in an 18th century garden, it is absorbed by the ideal representation of the past, thus reinforcing political and social values that are no longer with us. — Robert Smithson

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Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future. — Robert Smithson

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There is something abominable about cameras, because they possess the power to invent many worlds. As an artist who has been lost in this wilderness of mechanical reproduction for many years, I do not know which world to start with. I have seen fellow artists driven to the point of frenzy by photography. — Robert Smithson

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It's like the end of the day where you feel nothing has been achieved and you're in a hurry to get the day over with so you can start the next one. You tell yourself you're going to do lots of positive things. But the next day is just like the one before. Sometimes it goes on for weeks. — Robert Smithson

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Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his limits. — Robert Smithson

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Questions about form seem as hopelessly inadequate as questions about content. — Robert Smithson

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Language should find itself in the physical world, and not end up locked in an idea in somebody's head. — Robert Smithson

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History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody's own vacancy. — Robert Smithson

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Nature is never finished. — Robert Smithson

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The slurbs, urban sprawl, and the infinite number, of housing developments of the postwar boom have contributed to the architecture of entropy. — Robert Smithson

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The word 'color' means at its origin to 'cover' or 'hide.' Matter eats up light and 'covers' it with a confusion of color. — Robert Smithson

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Mistakes and dead-ends often mean more to these artists than any proven problem. — Robert Smithson

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Photographs are the results of a diminution of solar energy, and the camera is an entropic machine for recording gradual loss of light. — Robert Smithson

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Banal words function as a feeble phenomena that fall into their own mental bogs of meaning. — Robert Smithson

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A vacant white room with lights is still a submission to the neutral. Works of art seen in such spaces seem to be going through a kind of esthetic convalescence. — Robert Smithson

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History is a facsimile of events held together by finally biographical information. — Robert Smithson

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Painting, sculpture and architecture are finished, but the art habit continues. — Robert Smithson

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Language operates between literal and metaphorical signification. The power of a word lies in the very inadequacy of the context it is placed, in the unresolved or partially resolved tension of disparates. A word fixed or a statement isolated without any decorative or 'cubist' visual format, becomes a perception of similarity in dissimilars - in short a paradox. — Robert Smithson

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Art's development should be dialectical and not metaphysical. — Robert Smithson

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As long as cameras are around no artist will be free of bewilderment. — Robert Smithson

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Parks are idealizations of nature, but nature in fact is not a condition of the ideal. — Robert Smithson

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The museums and parks are graveyards above the ground- congealed memories of the past that act as a pretext for reality. — Robert Smithson

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An emotion is suggested and demolished in one glance by certain words. — Robert Smithson

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Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories. — Robert Smithson

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Noon-day sunshine cinema-ized the site, turning the bridge and the river into an over-exposed picture. Photographing it with my Instamatic 400 was like photographing a photograph. The sun became a monstrous light-bulb that projected a detached series of stills through my Instamatic into my eye. — Robert Smithson

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The scenic ideals that surround even our national parks are carriers of a nostalgia for heavenly bliss and eternal calmness. — Robert Smithson

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Language thus becomes monumental because of the mutations of advertising. — Robert Smithson

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Nature does not proceed in a straight line, it is rather a sprawling development. — Robert Smithson

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Objects in a park suggest static repose rather than any ongoing dialectic. Parks are finished landscapes for finished art . — Robert Smithson

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A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world. — Robert Smithson

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Let's face it, the human eye is clumsy, sloppy, and unintelligible when compared to the camera's eye. — Robert Smithson

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The names of minerals and the minerals themselves do not differ from each other, because at the bottom of both the material and the print is the beginning of an abysmal number of fissures. Words and rocks contain a language that follows a syntax of splits and ruptures. Look at any word long enough and you will see it open up into a series of faults, into a terrain of particles each containing its own void. — Robert Smithson

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One's mind and the earth are in a constant state of erosion, mental rivers wear away abstract banks, brain waves undermine cliffs of thought, ideas decompose into stones of unknowing, and conceptual crystallizations break apart into deposits of gritty reason. — Robert Smithson

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Some artists imagine they've got a hold on this apparatus, which in fact has got a hold of them. As a result, they end up supporting a cultural prison that is out of their control. — Robert Smithson