52 Photographers

Nancy Holt

Back in 2008 I wrote about Robert Smithson, and how influential he and his writings were becoming on my art then. Through all that reading I learned about Nancy Holt, who was married to Smithson. I really only remember getting familiar with only one of her works, Sun Tunnels in north-western Utah.

Holt, who passed away in 2014, really was quite a prolific artist. Many of her works no longer exist, due either to their intentional ephemerality, or to their being destroyed, as in the case of her Missoula Ranch Locators (1972), which was destroyed so that the owners of the property could build a home.

Her work was made to be an interactive experience. At Sun Tunnels, the viewer stands in one of four concrete tubes and looks through holes cut into walls that line up with certain constellations. Or, the viewer might look through two tunnels to see the sun rise and set at the winter solstice, or the other two tunnels to see the sun rise and set at the summer solstice. Through this interaction, or participation, Holt views her pieces are fully complete.

I have a strong desire to make people conscious of the cyclical time of the universe

If you feel like making the trek to the Sun Tunnels, you can find some info here: Sun Tunnels info from Utah Museum Fine Arts

And you check out the Sun Tunnels on Google Earth

You can read more about Holt here.