Wendover Update
A Season in Wendover

THE TOWN OF WENDOVER LIES on the border of Utah and Nevada, and is the location of the most developed of the CLUI American Land Museum sites. The CLUI complex, on the edge of town, consists of an exhibit hall, studio, residence facilities, and remote landscape sites. A residency program, funded partially by the National Endowment for the Arts, has hosted over 100 artists and researchers from Maine to New Zealand, who find inspiration in this remarkable environment of salt flats, bombing ranges, and casinos. The Center’s exhibit spaces include indoor galleries and outdoor sites, framed vistas and experiential experiments.

CLUI Residents

518 More than a dozen CLUI residents passed through this year, some new, some returning to complete their residency or install an exhibit, and some who have come back to help maintain the site and continue their research and projects independently. Daniel Mihalyo’s installation in Exhibit Hall 2 (pictured above), is now available to the public. Mihalyo and his partner operate an architectural shop called Lead Pencil Studio in Seattle. For his Wendover Residence project, which he started last year, he examined the foundations of the region - that is, the structures on the surface and underground that support, or at one time supported, buildings. There are abandoned foundations all over the region, ghosts of structures from an earlier time, as well as new foundations, visible in the early stages of building. He photographed, sketched, and studied both these forms of foundations, one representing the birthing of buildings, the other the death and decaying. His exhibit features representations of a variety of regional foundations, in sculpture, sketches, and photographs.

Visitors

519 Among the hundreds of visitors to CLUI Wendover was the tin can weaver and artist Slim Sirnes, who stopped by the Center’s Residence Support Unit on his way out to the midwest, with his colorful truck and mobile gallery/trailer, fashioned out of woven strips of aluminum, peeled out of soda cans. Slim is assisting with the creation of an art car park next to the abandoned Goldfield Hotel in his home town of Goldfield, Nevada.

The Work Party

520 The annual Wendover Work Party took place in July. Two dozen CLUI volunteers arrived in town, from all over the country, to stay for a week and to repair and upgrade the facilities. Work on a new and improved visitor center for the CLUI started during this time, and should open in the Summer of 2003. The current visitor center and Exhibit Halls are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a remote push-button entry system. Displays inside give details of the remarkable Wendover area and the work of participants in the CLUI Wendover Residents Program.

The Movies

521 Two monolithic Hollywood films shot in Wendover this year, adding to the complexity of the context of the place. The Core, a movie about drilling a hole to the center of the earth, filmed on the base and in the hills, and The Hulk, directed by Ang Lee, even used CLUI buildings as backdrops. Plaster from the trashed Hulk sets filled dumpsters on the salt flats, making for an interesting collection of compounded voids.

Land Art

522 This Summer, Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson’s 1970 sculpture in the Great Salt Lake, emerged from under the lake surface for the first time in several years. The jetty is totally white and encrusted with salt, having spent most of its life submerged in the salty lake. Park Service representatives say that over a thousand people have made the pilgrimage in the last six months. This photo was taken in September 2002, by Smithson scholar and CLUI Independent Interpreter Hikmet Loe.