Swamp

Robert Smithson
1971
16 mm film, color, sound
Duration: 6 minutes

Swamp is an artwork by Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt.

Holt walks through a New Jersey marsh with her Bolex camera; her sight is confined to the viewfinder and she relies on Smithson’s verbal navigation as he walks behind her. Reeds whip against the camera, rubber boots squeak with each painstaking step, and Smithson’s voice becomes increasingly insistent and supportive. As swamp grass consumes the visual frame, human sensibilities of direction and perspective dissolve. A visceral, chaotic journey unfolds as the two artists confront a dense maze of plant life—and struggle with the limitations of their own perception.

Swamp is one of the films featured in our Friday Film Series. Every Friday through April and May we present a moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson to stream online for a 24 hour period. Click here to learn more.

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