Locator (Exhaust Pipe)

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

Locator (Exhaust Pipe) was one of the earliest works Nancy Holt created in her Locator series. Directed out of a window in Holt’s New York studio, the view from this Locator features an exhaust pipe, perfectly encompassed by the aperture. The illuminated circular opening of the pipe is reiterated in the circular outline of the Locator view; both create tunnels of vision, holding light within their shapes. Holt's fascination with perception and vision are embodied in this simple intervention in her studio.

By featuring the exhaust pipe as an aesthetic element in this work, Holt foreshadows her interest in the sculptural forms of the often overlooked systems in the built environment—an interest that would later be developed in her System Works of the 1980s.

Holt’s Studio Locators focus on particular details, and when presented today their position echoes her careful choice of locating vision. Locator (Exhaust Pipe) always provides a view of an exhaust pipe. In 2022 the work was presented at Bildmuseet, Umeå University and the Locator was positioned inside the museum looking out to an air vent on the roof of the university building. 

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