Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-12midnight, Sun-Mon: Closed

Nancy Hold and Robert Smithson

Mono Lake

Sat 10 March — Fri 30 March 2012

Featuring Super 8 film footage and Instamatic slide images of artists Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer and Nancy Holt as they visited California's Mono Lake in July of 1968, this piece was edited by Holt in 2004. Mono Lake candidly captures the young artists as they explore the haunting landscape of one of the oldest and most distinctive lakes in North America. Heizer and Smithson are heard reading facts about the unique ecology, geology and natural phenomena of this alkaline lake. The voiceovers are set against filmed images and snapshots of the artists within the uncanny beauty of the lake's environment. Smithson is shown collecting cinders from the volcanic hills on the lake's shores, which were used to make his 1968 sculpture "Mono Lake Nonsite."

Mono Lake is a document of a unique natural environment, a "home movie" of the artists' 1968 road trip, and an intimate view of three seminal figures in the earth art movement as they interact with the Western landscapes that are so central to their work.

The following text, which appears on-screen, provides further background on the recording and editing of the piece: "Mono Lake was shot in 1968 on Super 8 film and Instamatic slides, which were later transferred to video. Smithson selected the readings and the music by Michel Legrand for the early, unedited soundtrack, which was recorded close to the time of the filming. The two country and western songs were sung by Waylon Jennings at a performance in Las Vegas attended by Heizer, Holt and Smithson in the week before the trip to Mono Lake, California... Holt and Smithson originally planned to edit Mono Lake together. The project was subsequently put aside until 2004, when it was edited by Holt for the Robert Smithson Retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles."

Robert Smithson, with Michael Heizer and Nancy Holt, caught on film July 27, 1968. Camera: Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson. Soundtrack Readings: Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson. Producer/Editor: Nancy Holt. Music by Michel Legrand from the soundtrack of the film "Bay of Angels" by Jacques Demy, Cine-Tamaris, 1963. Songs by Waylon Jennings: "Walk on Out of My Mind," (RCA Victor, 1967); "Stop the World (and Let Me Off)," (RCA Victor, 1965). Readings from the booklet "Rock Hounding Out of Bishop" written by Cora B. Houghtaling, Chalfont Press, Bishop, CA, 1967. A Holt/Smithson Video.

Nancy Holt

A pioneer of earthworks and public art, Nancy Holt has also worked in sculpture, installation, film, video, and photography for over three decades. She is best known for her large-scale environmental sculptural works, including Sun Tunnels in northern Utah and Dark Star Park in Arlington, Virginia. In the 1970s, Holt made a series of pioneering film and video works, including several collaborations with Robert Smithson.

Nancy Holt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1938. She received a Bachelors degree in Biology from Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, in 1960. She has received five National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two New York Creative Artist Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She has produced site-specific environmental works in numerous public places around the world, including Sun Tunnels (1976), a large-scale sculptural work in Great Basin Desert, Utah; Stone Enclosure (Rock Rings) in Bellingham, Washington; Astral Grating (1987) in a New York City subway station, and Dark Star Park, in Arlington, Virginia, among many others. She has also completed large-scale land reclamation projects, including Sky Mound (1988) in the New Jersey Meadowlands, and Up and Under (1998), in Nokia, Finland. Holt's works, including her films and videos, have been seen in exhibitions at the John Weber Gallery, New York; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Dia Center for the Arts, New York, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York.

In 2010, Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery in New York held the major retrospective exhibition Nancy Holt: Sightlines. The exhibition was accompanied by a monograph of the same name and edited by Alena J. Williams.

Holt lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Smithson was a seminal figure in the art form that became known as earthworks or land art. He radically redefined notions of sculpture through his writings and projects. Among his most important and well-known works are Spiral Jetty (1970), a monumental earthwork located in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, and Partially Buried Woodshed (1970) at Kent State University in Ohio. Smithson's critical writings have had an equally profound impact on contemporary art and theory.

Robert Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1938, and died in 1973.