Tate Modern Film

Marcia Hafif: Notes on Bob and Nancy

A woman and a man sit near the entrance of a California home

Marcia Hafif Notes on Bob and Nancy 1970-7, film still. Courtesy the Estate of Marcia Hafif and Fergus McCaffery, New York

A rare chance to see the artist’s singular essay film

Join a special screening of the late artist Marcia’s Hafif first essay film, Notes on Bob and Nancy. The film is a unique fusion of her work in image-making with her background in creative writing and her budding art criticism and feminist texts.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Hafif began shooting Super 8 footage of her peers in the University of California’s MFA programme in 1970, with the aim of developing it into a longer-form film. She shot scenes with artists Robert Walker and Nancy Buchanan acting as an artist couple, and drew in other classmates as well as art critic Barbara Rose. She continued to shoot and edit footage over the next few years, and updated her Super 8 equipment as the format came to include sound and colour. While editing this mix of colour and black-and-white footage, she developed a script together with Buchanan.

The film’s final form is a remarkable montage of a voice-over narration running parallel to the filmed scenes but rarely synched, interspersed with meditations on being an artist, image-making, time, sexual relationships and gender.


Introduction to Marcia Hafif by co-curator Sebastian Schneider
Notes on Bob and Nancy, United states, 1970–7, Super 8 film transferred to digital video, colour, sound, 62 min


Marcia Hafif (1929–2018, United States) was an artist primarily working in painting, whose practice also included photography, film, installation, sculpture and writing. Her works range from formal studies of colour to feminist texts, architectural plans or organised language exchanges.

The Marcia Hafif: Ideal Women series forms part of Tate Film’s Pioneers strand. It is curated Sebastian Schneider and Tate Film.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

23 November 2019 at 19.00–20.45

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