Another crack of the whip?

The media furore surrounding Doris Salcedo’s installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern has tended to remark on the originality of its gesture. Yet in its scale and pseudo-naturalness it would appear to be indebted to the generation of land artists from the 1960s. In particular it has strong similarities to Michael Heizer’s installation at the Fondazione Prada in Milan from 1996, although that work was rather more limited in size. Heizer’s work also avoided the pitfall of attempting a simulation of reality. In contrast Salcedo’s intervention seems to have attracted more attention regarding its constructional technique rather than its meaning, to the frustration of the artist.

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