News

Holt’s video ‘Underscan’ at MoMA, NY

Nancy Holt’s video Underscan (1973-74) is on show in the re-opening collection displays at the Museum of Modern Art, New YorkUnderscan comprises an audio track of Nancy Holt reading letters she received from her Aunt Ethel, while the visual element is a series of still images of her aunt’s home. This nine-minute and twelve-second video is on display from October, 2019 on the fourth floor, and is one of five works by Holt held in MoMA’s collection.

Nancy Holt described in a 1974 issue of Art Rite magazine: In Underscan, time and the visual image are compressed. A series of photographs of my Aunt Ethel’s home in New Bedford, MA had been videotaped, and re-videotaped while being underscanned. (The underscanning device is a structural framework particular only to video; it compresses the picture so that the edges can be seen precisely; it does away with the variation that occurs between monitors in the amount of the image which is visible.) Because of this underscanning process, each static photo image, as it appears, changes from regular to elongated to compressed or vice versa. Excerpts from letters from my aunt spanning ten years are condensed into years minutes of my voice-over audio. Certain yearly occurrences repeat in an auditory rhythm, coinciding with the cycle of yearly changes.”

This moving image work is accompanied by a photographic series of the same title and the artist book Ransacked: Aunt Ethel, an Ending (1980), which charts the ransacking of Aunt Ethel’s home in her final days.

Still from Nancy Holt, Underscan (1973-74)
Video, 9:12 min., b&w, sound

Audio: Excerpts from letters from my Aunt Ethel, 1962-72
Video: Photographs of Aunt Ethel’s home in New Bedford, Mass.
Producer: Carlota Schoolman
A Fifi Corday Production made with support from the New York State Council on the Arts

Art © Holt/Smithson Foundation, licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
Distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix

More News

Friday Film Program Weekend Screening

For the last nine weeks the first edition of Holt/Smithson Foundation’s Friday Film Program has presented a selected moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson on Vimeo and IGTV for twenty-four hours.

This weekend all nine films in the Friday Film Program are accessible on Vimeo, along with introductions by artists Charlotte Prodger, Dorothy Cross, Lee Ranaldo, and Katrina Palmer, as well as by members of the Foundation team.

Holt/Smithson Foundation Friday Films—"Mono Lake" on May 29, 2020

Through April and May 2020 Holt/Smithson Foundation invites you to join us for our Friday Film Program.

Every Friday until the end of May we present a selected moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson on Vimeo and IGTV for twenty-four hours. The program starts at 12 noon Friday on Mountain Time (the time zone of our home base in New Mexico), and runs to 12 noon on Saturday.

Holt/Smithson Foundation Friday Films — "The Making of Amarillo Ramp" on May 22, 2020

Through April and May 2020 Holt/Smithson Foundation invites you to join us for our Friday Film Program.

Every Friday until the end of May we present a selected moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson on Vimeo and IGTV for twenty-four hours. The program starts at 12 noon Friday on Mountain Time (the time zone of our home base in New Mexico), and runs to 12 noon on Saturday.

Our eighth, and penultimate, Friday screening heads to Amarillo, Texas with Nancy Holt’s The Making of Amarillo Ramp (1973/2013).

Holt/Smithson Foundation Friday Films — "East Coast/West Coast" on May 15, 2020

Through April and May 2020 Holt/Smithson Foundation invites you to join us for our Friday Film Program.

Every Friday until the end of May we present a selected moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson on Vimeo and IGTV for twenty-four hours. The program starts at 12 noon Friday on Mountain Time (the time zone of our home base in New Mexico), and runs to 12 noon on Saturday.

Our seventh Friday screening presents Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson’s first collaborative work, the video East Coast/West Coast (1969).

2020 Open Days at Broken Circle/Spiral Hill

In order to support the health and well-being of our visitors and staff, and in line with recommendations from public health officials regarding COVID-19, the planned 2020 Open Days at Robert Smithson’s Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (1971) will be postponed to 2021. Those who have booked for the 2020 dates will be given priority booking for 2021, and will be contacted directly.