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  • Anya Naumovic

Bruce Nauman Exhibition Review

Bruce Nauman and his recent exhibition at the Tate Modern proved to be yet another feature upon a male artist that seemed lacking in substance and execution. The exhibition started with a room of screenings of a film created in his studio, which filmed from different angles his empty studio. Perhaps quite relevant for now with its depiction of the monotony of the mundane, the film sought to prove that when a moth flew into the frame, or a mysterious cat which I failed to spot, became a great event. However I felt the exhibit was a forced set up with five black office chairs meaning to place the audience in the artists perspective, but the warped scale and contrived literality of the set up seemed fraudulent. The exhibition continued with his series of films that focused on Nauman repeating bodily actions. However, it felt as if it was more of a charade of masculinity with the focus being on him so heavily it was highlighting him as a great figure of power for putting himself through the “strenuous” tasks which seemed more of a privilege to film rather than having outwardly forces putting those strains on the body. The sparse amount of neon lights that seemed to be the lure of the exhibit were so oddly hung it was difficult to view the lights and also focus upon the buzzing of the neon which was heavily pressed on as part of the piece within the captions. Perhaps the most irritating section of the exhibit was his films, of ‘feed me’ which was a monotonously whining film of Nauman repeating his so-called basic needs. However, it felt uncomfortable to watch an obviously privileged man beg for that of human requirements continuously. Overall I found the exhibit exhaustingly masculine and yet another feature on a male artist that is seemingly redundant.



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