Phase one of the James Turrell Argosy Trailer restoration is underway! World-renowned artist of Light and Space James Turrell lived in this Argosy Trailer for more than a decade beginning in the late 1970s, parked on the outer rim of the Roden Crater, which he purchased in 1977.
In this trailer, Turrell formulated the plan for his immersive experience: the Roden Crater.
The Roden Crater
“Roden Crater, located in the Painted Desert region of Northern Arizona, is an unprecedented large-scale artwork created within a volcanic cinder cone by light and space artist James Turrell. Representing the culmination of the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception, Roden Crater is a controlled environment for the experiencing and contemplation of light. It takes its place within the tradition of American landscape art that began in the 1960s, requiring a journey to visit the work in the remote desert with truly dark night skies.”From the Roden Crater Website
Phase one of the restoration was pretty simple: a deep clean!
Dan Lutzick, the project lead, emptied the trailer of ladders and glass that had been stored inside over the last several years.
Once cleared, Tyla vacuumed out twenty years of dust. The difference with just one cleaning was pretty incredible.
According to Dan, the paneling looks to be in good condition, but the upholstery and drapes are shot. The gas and plumbing hoses will likely need replacing, and all the seals redone to keep the dirt out.
One good thing we discovered: All of the electrical seems to be in working order! The lights, plugs, refrigerator, and AC all powered up and worked when electrician Roger put everything to the test.
With this well underway, we’re onto…
The Next Step for the Turrell Trailer
The outside is pretty oxidized, so we will clean up and polish the exterior best we can to start, but our primary objective is to make the interior livable. Why livable?
Because eventually, we’d like to see the Argosy used for an Artist-in-Residence program for those showing in the Contemporary Gallery! To do that, we need to have it near hookups. The best placement for the trailer will likely be the southeast end of the future sculpture garden, closer to the platform where the 502 Pleasure Dome lives and where there is access to power and sewer. Once a concrete pad is poured and the trailer put in place, we will landscape around the trailer and have yet another intriguing exhibit for Affeldt Mion Museum.
Stay tuned for Phase 2!