Sight turned away from its own looking




[In the jungle of Palenque, Mexico, Robert Smithson positioned twelve mirrors in the ground.] 

‘The poised mirrors seemed to buckle slightly over the uncertain ground. […] Proportion was disconnected and in a condition of suspense. The double allure of the ground and the mirrors brought forth apparitions […]. So this is Palenque […] as soon as it was named it ceased to exist.
[...] ‘Other mirrors escaped into visual extinguishment. Bits of reflected jungle retreated from one’s perception. Each point of focus spilled into cavities of foliage. Glutinous light submerged vision under a wilderness of unassimilated seeing. Scraps of sight accumulated until the eyes were engulfed by scrambled reflections. What was seen reeled off into indecisive zones. […] Sight turned away from its own looking.’ 

Smithson, R. 1969. ‘Incidents of Mirror Travel in the Yucatan,’ in: J. Flam (ed.) 1996. Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press p.p 125 - 129