Rolls : 1971
To create this Huot used twenty-two rolls of film shot during 1971, along with bits of other found footage and from materials photographed during the same period. Some of this material is similar to the very best minimal rolls from One Year (1970); other portions are more like the informal later rolls of the earlier film. In addition, he included a good deal of unusually personal imagery (some of it quite sexually explicit), mostly involving himself, Twyla Tharp (she and Huot were married at the time), and their son Jesse. These various kinds of imagery are integrated within a complex and highly suggestive editing strategy.
MacDonald: For Rolls (1971) you used a very unusual structure, a combination of two radically different ways of treating the same imagery. You jump back and forth between sections made up of 252 successive one-second images and roll-long, unedited, often single-shot material. What led you to choose that organization?
Huot: …Part of the reason for wanting to do that came from a feeling that all these experiences are in our minds simultaneously. You bring to any moment all these other experiences you’ve had. I wanted to show certain of the full rolls because I thought they were good or interesting as they were, and I wanted also to do this total juxtaposition. I wanted to use everything I shot, 100 percent, at least once. I wanted to show real time and also a state of mind. I thought that alternating between slow, very detailed presentations, where you would really look at all of the information, and rhythmic, one-second passages with the juxtapositions of everything would be real in a way only film could be.
Scott McDonald (roberthuot.com)
After being so involved in the art world both as a gallery artist and an activist, this something entirely new for me. After producing some of the most extreme, dematerialized, distilled and almost invisible art in the late Sixties, in January 1970 I began a film diary. […] Slowly the impact of my choices began to effect my art in a concrete way. The diary films became more and more a celebration of “nature.” As my awareness of my/our impact on the environment grew, I felt compelled to make my art and life reflect that awareness.