Locator (Cracked Window)

Nancy Holt
Artist's Greenwich Street Studio, New York
Steel pipe
Height: 42 in. (106.7 cm); Length: 12in. (30.5 cm); Diameter: 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)

Locator (Cracked Window) was one of the earliest works Nancy Holt created in her Locator series. Positioned by a window in Holt’s New York Studio, a steel Locator captures a view of the cracked window on the slanted glass ceiling below. The crack forms a circle with radial slivers protruding outwards, a sun-like shape similar to those featured in Holt’s public artworks. The circular shape of the crack is accentuated by the circular framing of the Locator’s view, casting an aesthetic light onto an ordinarily unfavorable slice of city life.

Holt creates an inquisitive, privatized experience of the outside world, simply by framing and focusing on what is already there. This work illustrates Holt's interest in manipulating perception through the simple yet powerful act of framing vision. In contrast to later Locator works, Locator (Cracked Window)  only operates in one direction: looking from inside her studio to the world outside.

Holt’s Studio Locators focus on particular details, and when presented today their position echoes her careful choice of locating vision. Locator (Cracked Window) always provides a view of a broken window. In 2023 the work was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (MACBA), and the Locator was positioned inside the museum looking out to a damaged window in an abandoned building.

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