Four Single Chairs

You’ll need to sit down if you are to watch Bruce Nauman’s Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) (2001), where six projectors each display six hours of footage that track the activities of mice, cats, and other creatures as they run through the artist’s work space.

”What triggered this piece were the mice. We had a big influx of field mice that summer in the house and in the studio … They were so plentiful even the cat was getting bored with them … I was sitting around the studio being frustrated because I didn’t have any new ideas, and I decided that you just have to work with what you’ve got. What I had was this cat and the mice, and I happened to have a video camera in the studio that had infrared capability. So I set it up and turned it on at night and let it run when I wasn’t there, just to see what I’d get … I thought to myself why not make a map of the studio and its leftovers … it might be interesting to let the animals, the cat and the mice, make the map of the studio. So I set the camera up in different locations around the studio where the mice tended to travel just to see what they would do amongst the remnants of the work.” [source: Bruce Nauman: Mapping the Studio I]

The reference to John Cage, in case you were wondering, is from an earlier work of Nauman’s, a telegram sent to the London gallerist Anthony d’Offay in response to a request for a work related to Cage. The telegram was misunderstood and was not exhibited; still intrigued by the expression ‘fat chance’, Nauman decided to reuse the words. [source: the Tate]


July 15th, 2019

Liquidation Totale

Three Heads Fountain (Three Andrews) (detail), 2005, epoxy resin, fiberglass, wire, hoses, immersible pump, rubber-lined basin, water;

Bruce Nauman, Three Heads Fountain (Juliet, Andrew, Rinde) (detail), 2005, epoxy resin, fiberglass, wire, hoses, immersible pump, rubber-lined basin, water;

From Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts @MoMA PS1

December 14th, 2018


Shit Happens

One hundred thousand. Shit that could have been avoided.

Images from Disappearing Acts, a Bruce Nauman retrospective that was presented in two parts, in MoMa and MoMA PS1.

”Disappearing Acts traces what Nauman has called “withdrawal as an art form”—both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. Bodies are fragmented, centers are left empty, voices emanate from hidden speakers, and the artist sculpts himself in absentia, appearing only as negative space. The retrospective charts these forms of omission and loss across media and throughout the decades, following Nauman as he circles back to earlier concerns with new urgency. Presented in two complementary parts, at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, this is the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work ever assembled.” [source: MoMA]

Last photo (not) showing the Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh; I wonder when (or even if) will we ever see crowds like this anymore…

October 19th, 2018