Filming Jan Dibbet’s 12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective, 1969
A year ago this week as part of the Portscapes project, the artist Jan Dibbets had what he called a “second attempt” at his 1969 piece 12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective; the artist and curators rejected the idea of the event being a recreation. The apparently parallel lines are drawn on the beach and disappear again within the space between two high tides.
The original work became part of the canon of Land Art when it was included in Gerry Schum’s 1969 Land Art TV broadcast, alongside pieces by Robert Smithson and Richard Long. For Schum the attraction of Land Art was its liberation of art from the gallery. He was trying to make a TV-based form of art that suited the more democratic half of the 20th century.
In the second attempt the work becomes more obviously about man’s relationship to the natural world, partly because Portscapes, which we list as one of the 21 highlights of 2009, was a series of commissions by Latitudes on a piece of land that will disappear as part of the new Dutch industrial port complex Maasvlakte 2. And the piece now seems to emphasise the tidal inequalities of that relationship. Just as Dibbett’s illusory parallel lines are seen being washed away by the rising tide, so this beach will soon be gone. That is another perspective shift, of a kind.
Photos: Latitudes, Paloma Polo/SKOR and Freek van Arkel