Broken Circle/Spiral Hill
Illustrations to "Robert Smithson: Land Reclamation and the Sublime":
Robert Smithson "Broken Circle" (1971-72), and "Spiral Hill" (1971):
located at and in a quarry pond by Emmen/Netherlands, at Oude Roswinkelerweg
The aerial photos are shot in 2008. The following sixth
illustration was shot by Joep
van Ruiten in November 2008. The next illustrations represent the
state of the earthwork as the author found it in October 1994 (10/26/1994):
"Broken Circle " was flooded. Els
Bannenberg describes and illustrates the state of the earthwork in
1987: He found "Broken Circle " flooded, too.
In 1994 shrubbery (now eliminated) made it difficult to recognize the
outline of "Spiral Hill" and the spiral pathway to the top of
"Spiral Hill" was overgrown. The contemporary path along the
waterfront behind "Broken Circle" and before "Spiral Hill"
didn´t exist in 1994. The hill on the other side of the quarrel
pond (see the last three pictures) is removed now and the former two lakes
became one. Van Ruiten writes about the present state: "Naarmate
de omringende zandafgraving groter en groter wordt, lijkt het landartproject
uit 1971 bij Emmerschans kleiner en kleiner te worden." ("The
land art project of 1971 near Emmerschans appears to become smaller and
smaller after the digging of more and more sand in the surrounding.")
The last photo illustrates the former context of the earthwork: It shows
the "Broken Circle" in a little lake and a separate lake in
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Netherlandish documentation by rijksdienst voor archeologie, cultuurlandschap en momumenten: URL: http://www.projectenbankcultuurhistorie.nl/ projecten/broken-circle-en-spiral-hill (8.9.2011);
Sketch, ink and pencil on paper, 1971: URL: http://www.robertsmithson.com/ drawings/ spiral_hill_broken_circle_300.htm (23.10.2008);
photos in Flickr.com: URL: http://www.flickr.com/search/ ?s=int&q=%22broken+circle%22 +smithson&m=text (23.10.2008);
Google Maps: URL: http://maps.google.nl/ maps?q=52.808914+06.9289054+ (Landart+Spiral+Hill) (23.10.2008).
Googlesightseeing: URL: http://googlesightseeing.com/ maps? p=1441&c= &f=q&hl= en&ie= UTF8&ll= 52.808897,6.928607&spn =0.002357,0.007167&t =k&z=18&om=1 (10.2.2009)
Bing Maps: URL: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v= 2&cp= st0zd6hk9xpc&lvl= 16&dir=0&sty= b&where1= Emmen%2C%20Niederlande&form= LMLTCC (8.9.2011) .
Thomas Dreher, October 2008/February 2009/September 2011