Shot on 16 mm film, Utah Sequences shows Holt’s deep investigation of Utah’s landscape. 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 wood cabins, 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.
Holt’s film shows the artist Robert Smithson, the gallerist (and our Board member) Virginia Dwan, the photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni, and one yet-to-be-identified-person as they prepare for the construction of Smithson’s iconic earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970). Until recently thought to have been lost, 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.