Shot on Super 8mm film, Utah Sequences shows Holt’s deep investigation of Utah’s landscape. Holt thought Utah Sequences was lost for many years, but it was later found in her studio. Created six years before the completion of her landmark sculpture Sun Tunnels (1973–76), Holt’s earthwork situated in Utah’s west desert, this film explores the manmade and natural environment at Rozel Point on the north arm of Great Salt Lake. The film captures a wood cabin, an amphibious vehicle, and remnants of oil drilling that have largely disappeared from the site today. By contrast, the tar-seeps and salt-encrusted pelicans so present in this film remain a constant at the site today.
Holt’s film shows the artist Robert Smithson, the gallerist Virginia Dwan, the photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni, and the gallerist Douglas Chrismas as they prepare for the construction of Smithson’s iconic earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970), a giant coil of black basalt rocks that juts into Great Salt Lake at Rozel Point. Utah Sequences sheds light on Holt and Smithson’s time in Utah and invites conversations about entropy, timescales, and the human impact on the environment.