Previously at the ICA - Events

Revolve announcement card for WNET Channel 13 television broadcast, 1978, Sun Tunnels under construction, 1975-76.

Artists' Film Biennial: Two Films by Nancy Holt selected by Charlotte Prodger

26 May 2016

An extended programme of two films by the late US artist Nancy Holt, selected by Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger, who explores similar themes in her practice, sighting Holt as an influential figure.

Using multiple camera angles and minimal repetitions to modulate her friend David Wheeler's personal narrative of his battle with leukaemia, Holt presents his physical illness as a site for metaphysical and aesthetic reflection in Revolve (1977). Holt's editing procedure both frees Wheeler's narrative and closes in on it, effectively projecting the personal into the conceptual. Sun Tunnels (1978) documents the making of Holt's major site-specific sculptural work in the northwest Utah desert. Completed in 1976, the sculpture features a configuration of four concrete tubes or "tunnels" that are eight feet long and nine feet in diameter. The tubes are positioned to align with the sunrise and sunset of the summer and winter solstices, and are also pierced by holes that allow light to be cast in patterns of constellations. A kind of American Stonehenge, Sun Tunnels charts the yearly and daily cycles of the sun, and calls attention to human scale and perception within the vast desert landscape. This document includes stunning footage of the changing sun and light as framed by the tunnels on the solstices.

A pioneer of earthworks and public art, Nancy Holt (b. 1938, d. 2014) also worked in sculpture, installation, film, video, and photography for over three decades. She is best known for her large-scale environmental sculptural works, including Sun Tunnels in northern Utah and Dark Star Park in Arlington, Virginia. In the 1970s, Holt made a series of pioneering film and video works, including several collaborations with Robert Smithson. Holt's early videos, which are among the most iconic works in the medium, explore perception and memory through experiments with point of view and process.

Charlotte Prodger (b. 1974, lives and works in Glasgow). Recent solo exhibitions include Stoneymollan Trail: Charlotte Prodger, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2015); and 8004-8019, Spike Island, Bristol (2014). Recent group shows include TBT, Sies + Höke Galerie, Düsseldorf (2015); Windows Hung With Shutters, (curated by Anna Goetz), RaebervonStenglin, Zurich (2015); The Ultimate Vessel, Koppe Astner, Glasgow; and British Art Show 8, various venues: Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich, Southampton (2015-16). Forthcoming solo shows include TBT, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2016); TBT, Hollybush Gardens, London (2016) and TBT, Tramway, Glasgow (2018).


  • Nancy Holt, Revolve, 1977, SD video, black and white, sound, 77 min
  • Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, 1978, 16mm film transferred to SD video, colour, sound, 26 min 31 sec


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The ICA Artists’ Film Biennial 2016 is a four-day celebration of artists’ film and moving image. The Biennial’s comprehensive series of screenings and talks extends the ICA’s Artists’ Film Club, our regular programme of artists’ film, which profiles and debates the best international artists’ moving image.

Programme supported by the Art Fund, British Council, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.

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