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Poster for Troublemakers


Director: James Crump Run Time: 72 min. Format: DCP Rating: NR Release Year: 2015

Starring: Carl Andre, Charles Ross, Dennis Oppenheim, Germano Celant, Gianfranco Gorgoni, Harald Szeemann, Lawrence Weiner, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Pamela Sharp, Paula Cooper, Robert Smithson, Virginia Dwan, Vito Acconci, Walter De Maria, Willoughby Sharp

ART SEEN presents brunch screenings of TROUBLEMAKERS, the documentary that unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. 

Troublemakers features a cadre of 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. 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. The film casts these artists in a heroic light, which is exactly how they saw themselves. Iconoclasts who changed the landscape of art forever, these revolutionary, antagonistic creatives risked their careers on radical artistic change and experimentation, and took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms. 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); a headstrong troika that established the genre. As the film makes clear, in making works that can never be possessed as an object in a gallery, these troublemakers stand in marked contrast to the hyper-speculative contemporary art world of today.

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, an immersive and physically transportive experience that movie goers will not forget.