Previously at the ICA - Films

Robert Smithson at site of Spiral Jetty (1970), Great Salt Lake, Utah, April 1970. From Trou-blemakers. Photograph © Gianfranco Gorgoni. Courtesy Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2008.R.6).

Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art

13 May 201625 May 2016

"Takes its place among the great art documentaries of the last half-century" The Wall Street Journal

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest.

The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative), iconoclasts who changed the landscape of art forever. These revolutionary creatives risked their careers on radical artistic change and experimentation, and took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms.

The film shows how nature performs in these works and alters them over time, sometimes radically reclaiming them, creating an ongoing competitive dialogue between artist and the natural world. Today these works remain impressive not only for the sheer audacity of their makers but also for their out-sized ambitions to break free from traditional norms.

Using original footage produced with helicopters and rare re-mastered vintage footage from the period, Crump’s cinematic journey takes viewers on a thrill ride through the most significant land art sites in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, providing an immersive and physically transportive experience.

Troublemakers, dir. James Crump, USA 2016, 72 mins

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