Electrical Lighting for Reading Room
In November of 1984, Nancy Holt was invited by Earl A. Powell III, Director of Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and curator Maurice Tuchman to participate in the exhibition Artist as Social Designer: Aspects of Public Urban Art Today. The concept of this exhibition was to “document the involvement of visual artists in the area of public design traditionally reserved for architects and urban designers.” Nancy Holt created Electrical Lighting for Reading Room for the exhibition: a room-sized installation built of standard industrial materials that are part of Holt’s series of System Works. The undulating network of conduit and light engages three walls of the room, and the lower row of lights can be turned on and off by visitors pulling the chain connected to each light. The sculpture makes the visitor aware of the flow of electricity all around them and the systems in place to provide the electricity. LACMA paired Nancy Holt’s work with seating and reading table elements designed by the artist Scott Burton. Electrical Lighting for Reading Room was presented posthumously for the first time in 2022 for the exhibition Nancy Holt / Inside Outside at Bildmuseet.