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“Roden Crater has knowledge in it and it does something with that knowledge. Environmental events occur; a space lights up. Something happens in there, for a moment, or for a time. It is an eye, something that is itself perceiving. It is a piece that does not end. It is changed by the action of the sun, the moon, the cloud cover, by the day and the season that you’re there, it has visions, qualities and a universe of possibilities.” James Turrell.
Roden Crater is an extinct volcano situated near Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. Since 1977, James Turrell has been carving out of it a monumental work of art and “naked eye observatory”. This large format aerial photograph is a painterly image of the mouth of the crater. In the artist’s words, “I photographed this myself from a Helio-Courier (A.C.) with Wild RC8 camera, 9 ½” x 9 ½” negative after the initial shaping of the western portion of the crater bowl sometime in the 80s.”