Andrew Rogers Rhythms of Life - A Global Land Art Project by Silvia Langen Prestel
2016-Silvia Langen Essay – Prestel
Rhythms of Life – The largest land art project in the world
Since the 1980s, more and more spectacular land art projects are being created far away from big cities and for the first time outside of the United States and Europe. Although these art landscapes can normally only be reached with great effort, the synthesis of nature and art obviously fascinates a great many people—artists, visitors, and local residents alike. In the truest sense of the word, working in an open landscape gives artists space to freely think, experiment, and work in new, greater dimensions. They are in a direct and permanent dialogue with the environment, which is itself a work of art whose infinite facets are constantly reinvented in harmony with the time of day and the seasons as well as with the weather. Ideally, art and nature not only enhance each other but ultimately merge to become a new and unique gesamtkunstwerk. The internationally renowned Australian sculptor Andrew Rogers has succeeded in doing this with Rhythms of Life. Since 1999, he has produced fifty-one land art sculptures in sixteen countries, across all seven continents; these stone structures are thematically interrelated. Rhythms of Life is Andrew Rogers’s life work. The largest contemporary project of its kind in the world, Rogers has introduced a new dimension into land art the global work of art.
GEOGLYPHS AS GLOBAL ARTWORK
They are archetypal symbols of civilization in the most extreme topographies be it the Gobi Desert, the South American Altiplano, the African steppe, or the glacial ice of Antarctica where the artist makes a mark in the truest sense of the word: he builds them into the open landscape as geoglyphs, gigantic drawings and structures from local rock. Andrew Rogers goes to the limits of what is possible with respect to their dimensions. His sculptures are deliberately arranged in such large proportions so that they are clearly recognizable on satellite images from space. With Rhythms of Life Andrew Rogers frames his personal artistic answer to the big questions of our society, which is faced with enormous challenges: globalization with the threat of the loss of collective memory and independent cultural identities, with climate change, new technologies, and increasing commercialization.
THE TOPOGRAPHICAL CONTEXT
Like Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson, protagonists of the first generation of land art artists in the 1960s, Rogers consciously anchors art in the landscape in a lasting way. Land art only explains itself in a topographical context. Andrew Rogers also wants to provoke, to challenge viewers to reflect on the past in reference to the present and the future and to act responsibly and oriented toward positive values. He therefore creates highly aesthetic sites that invite one to contemplate. “It is about the importance of the perspective that we are caretakers and have responsibilities to those around us and to those who will follow,” Rogers explains. “We receive the environmental consequences created by our predecessors. In turn we leave a consequence for our descendants. The present will be reflected in the future. If we have regard for our earth, what should be the criteria we live by?” As an Australian who himself lives in a country in which nature is omnipresent, working with and in nature is a matter of course. Surrounded by the whole gamut of highly diverse………..
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