Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
1971, 6 min, color, sound, 16 mm film on video

Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson collaborated on this seminal film, which viscerally confronts issues of perception and process. The action of the film is direct: Holt walks through the tall grasses of a swamp while filming with her Bolex camera, guided only by what she can see through the camera lens and by Smithson's verbal instructions. The viewer experiences the walk from Holt's point of view, seeing through her camera lens and hearing Smithson's spoken directions. Vision is obstructed and perception distorted as they stumble through the swamp grasses. Holt has stated that Swamp "...deals with limitations of perception through the camera eye as Bob and I struggled through a muddy New Jersey swamp. Verbal direction cannot easily be followed. As the reeds crash against the camera lens blocking vision and forming continuously shifting patterns, confusion ensues."

A Film by Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson.


In exhibition, this work should be presented in a cinematic situation, i.e. a projection contained in its own room, preferably projected onto a screen, in a black box gallery, with seating provided, and posted start times. Please contact the office for further information.
Projection Installation Checklist & Guidelines