Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film 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.
- Doors open at 8 pm
- Movies begin at dusk
Community partner, The Great Salt Lake Collaborative, is tabling on-site before the film to inform and engage about the environmental crisis facing the Great Salt Lake.
Utah Film Center’s Outdoor Summer Film Series is proudly presented with support by Salt Lake City Government.
This film is proudly presented with support by the Great Salt Lake Collaborative.
This film is part of the Utah Division of State History and the Department of Cultural and Community Engagement’s Civics Season. Utah Civic Season is a time to reflect on the past, engage with the present, and come together as we shape the future.