The Culture of Nauman

 

If you like the artist Bruce Nauman and live in New York, you’re in luck. MoMA is doing a massive retrospective of his work that spans not just the Manhattan branch of the Museum but MoMA PS1 as well.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth traipsing out to Long Island City to see one half of it, let me say it is. In fact, I think the stronger part of the exhibit is housed at PS1.
What’s more, a visit to the museum isn’t going to cost you another entrance fee, as tickets bought in one location are good for the other.

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Among the highlights of the show include a series of highly pornographic neon signs that deal with the themes of sex and death. Another is an early hologram of a human head found in pitch dark room that feels almost like your spying on the recently buried. Then there’s an exhibit called ‘Clown Torture’ that consists of many screens in which clowns scream or speak in a manner which is both funny and disturbing at the same time (just like clowns really)

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Throughout his career, Nauman has used new technologies to help bring his conceptual ideas to life, and this has given work a strangely historical feel as images degrade or merely reflect the limitations of the seventies and eighties tech.

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