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Scenes in America Deserta – Utah Sequences + The Inner Scar

Utah Sequences, Nancy Holt et Robert Smithson, 1970, 10′
This film follows up on an investigation into Utah’s remarkable landscape by the renowned land/conceptual artist, Nancy Holt. Filmed six years before the completion of her Sun Tunnels (1973–76), the artist’s impressive earthwork set in Utah’s western desert, Holt’s film explores the environment―both natural and man-made―of Rozel Point, on the northern arm of Great Salt Lake. In the film, we see wooden cabins, an amphibious vehicle and remnants of oil drilling that have largely disappeared from the site today, but the tar pits and salt-encrusted pelicans, so present in this film, remain there today.

The Inner Scar, Philippe Garrel, 1972, 57’

A woman, two men and a child wander through the strangely beautiful landscapes of Egypt and Iceland.

In 1970, Nico―the legendary German singer, songwriter, actress and model―composes her last album, Desertshore, while her lover plans his next film. The singer’s deep and melancholic voice complements Philippe Garrel’s images of ethereal spaces and would become the soundtrack of The Inner Scar, a film-trip about the wanderings of the tormented couple amid the desolate panoramas of Sinai, Iceland and Death Valley.

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