Bodily Sculptural Consciousness: Bruce Nauman

I’ve almost forgotten how much I appreciate Bruce Nauman. He’s been widely studied during my mediocre educationing and I fondly remember his use of body and its interaction with space, not only between the artist and his studio but also between the viewer, artwork, and its surroundings. I wrote a paper about Green Light Corridor and its mindboggling ability to turn the spectator’s gaze up and against itself, a cluatrophobic tangible viewing experience that grants immunity to becoming a tool for subjective interpretation. His videos prancing around the studio, actively engaging in a conversation between the two unmovable/movable opposing forces, the conceptual instructional pieces asking us to smush our body as hard against the as possible, the sculptural masses of inbetween spaces, all ring true the following quote: “It combined deathly passivity with vital presence”. He uses surveillance cameras disporportionately placed between makeshift narrow hallways, catching a viewer’s back just as she turns a corner, leaving her feel watched while watching engaged in an inescapable performance.

via Peter Freeman site

via Peter Freeman site

This inevitable engagement between work, viewer and real space is extended in a piece from 1965 titled “Diamon Mind Circle of Tears Fallen All Around Me”, installed at Peter Freeman. The sculpture comprises of six cubes bent slightly askew creating an illusionistic affect, as if we’ve entered twilight zone and the world is on a constant diagonal. The success of sculptural experiences derives from their installation, each cube places a few feet apart in a circle giving the viewer the option to enter in and out and inbetween each piece, an inside/outside dichotomy formed by the shapes and its invisible force of union. This 360 angle made me very aware of where my next step went and how was going to affect the angle in which the cube is turned. The multiple perspective was subtly powerful in its ability to really allow me to enter a completely different dimension at each step, a passive activity that deceivingly affirmed their never ending movement. They were gathered in a sychronized chorus, each singing his own tune in unison, swaying to the rhythm and sound of each other’s harmony. I love their ability to impact a viewer this way with such overwhelming silence, with such subdued forceful power, with such minimal resources.

1 Comment

Filed under Art

One response to “Bodily Sculptural Consciousness: Bruce Nauman

  1. kalinam04

    Love his work..Kalina Massie, Las Vegas Nevada!

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