SELECTED ARTICLES/REVIEWS/ESSAYS ABOUT ROBERT SMITHSON Yucatan is Elsewhere, On Robert Smithson's Hotel Palenque First printed in Parkett. Hotel Palenque is a / artwork by U.S. artist Robert Smithson . Initially existing as a series of 31 color transparency  ‎Background · ‎ Lecture · ‎Critical Interpretations · ‎Exhibition history and. Smithson_Robert___Hotel_Palenque_pdf (file size: MB, MIME type: application/pdf). Expand view.


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The entropic forces acting on the Hotel spread to the artist's language and deflect any sense of rational forward momentum to the lecture. As Neville Wakefield observes: Here the glacial drift of perception robert smithson hotel palenque cognition causes ideas to buckle or be pulled to extremes of uselessness, the space of sculpture alternately compressed and attenuated.

In the Robert smithson hotel palenque Palenque the traction of empirical truths and steadfast geographies is lost. In appropriating the Hotel as artwork, Smithson enacts a perceptual shift, somewhat similar to his elevation of the industrial fixtures of New Jersey to the status of 'Monuments'.

This all-engulfing sense provides the mental ground for the object, so that it ceases being a mere object and becomes art. It appears not to have been shown as a tape and slide installation until the Los Angeles County Robert smithson hotel palenque of Art exhibition Robert Smithson: Inthe 31 images were published alongside an edited transcription of Smithson's lecture as an insert in the magazine Parkett; and the piece was shown at the Venice Biennale in - as a video on a monitor, the slides overlaid with the artist's narration on the soundtrack.

Robert Smithson’s Hotel Palenque

Greg Allen has observed how this variance in the work's posthumous realizations raises the question of its very status as an artwork. He notes how the work was one of the last holdings of the Smithson Estate when it was sold to the Guggenheim inalongside nine slides robert smithson hotel palenque the artist's Mirror Displacements series which were also never exhibited as standalone works in the artist's lifetime.

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This is really the old hotel and you can see that instead of just tearing it down at once they tear it down robert smithson hotel palenque so that you are not deprived of the wreckage situation. The dialectics of presence and absence, forced to face itself within this carefully constructed hall of mirrors, is like Medusa facing Perseus's shield, slowly turned to stone.

Thus petrified it becomes geology, another stratum in the pre-history of thought.


Physical substance and representational logic collapse into a single rubble. In place of the old axes of spatial cartography we find a metaphorical geography inhabited by beasts and beggars, abandoned hopes and discarded systems.

Hotel Palenque | Alias

Caught between the equilibrial forces of reconstruction and decay, the Hotel also allegorizes another collapse, that of vision. The fictive voices of the totems have exhausted their arguments.


The Mayan ruins for which Palenque is famous are recorded only as the distant possibility of a view from one of the hotel windows, now permanently obscured by the smoke screen of time and defoliation. The wonders of the observatories and temples built by the Mayans remain shrouded, hazy and robert smithson hotel palenque by the archeology of the present located in the Hotel.

The past, which, like astronomical bodies, occurs long before crossing the horizon of appearances, belongs not to the pre-Spanish Indian monuments but to the robert smithson hotel palenque man-made wonder" of the Hotel.

Here Smithson finds a more compelling and indeterminate horizon where the impress of the future is received by the past, where meaninglessness and disintegration cohabitat with the old Mayan necessities of convolution and terror. Wryly scrutinizing these strange intersections, where architectures of mind and hotel meet, Smithson mines them for their aesthetic and narcotic ore.

This, after is the place where nothing happens, the zero panorama of the present, a serpentine entropy where the passage of ruined signifiers only serves to suck us further into the centripetal vortex, an immobile cyclone.

Here the present becomes the conjugation of near future and distant past, the actuality described robert smithson hotel palenque Kubler as the "instance between the ticks of the watch?

It is the void between events.