Stone Ruin Tour I
In 1966 Nancy Holt made her first artworks, taking the form of concrete poems. One year later she created Stone Ruin Tour, extending her exploration of language from the page to the landscape and marking her first experiments with sound.
In June 1967, Holt tape-recorded herself dictating a tour through a crumbling labyrinthine garden with stone walls, overlooks, and disappearing stairways in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. This she transcribed to create an imperfect and unfinished map to explore the site, which was given to artist friends as a guide.
Stone Ruin Tour is a field of information, encompassing a score, a slide show, a series of photographs, and audio. The original audio monologue from which Holt edited the score was recently discovered—the artist believed the tape to be lost, and it was found in her studio following her passing. The digital slideshow was created by Holt in 2012 from original 35mm slides for the group exhibitions Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Haus der Kunst, Munich; curated by Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon) and New Jersey as Nonsite (Princeton University Art Gallery; curated by Kelly Baum). There is much research needed to establish the full scope of this landmark Holt work.