Bruce Nauman Writing Response

Daniel Yeh

Bruce Nauman Writing Assignment

Time: Embodied.B01.Fa18

December 3, 2018


Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts


After I attended an exhibition “Disappearing Acts” at The Museum of Modern Art by well-known American artist Bruce Nauman on the 29th of November, I’ve discovered who Bruce Nauman is and get to know how Bruce uses his style of art into order for himself to reveals his experiences that he did in the past and use that as his materials and methods to show his art in our modern art society. To begin with my journey to the exhibition “Disappearing Acts,” Right before I walked into the main exhibition area, I saw these two “water Fountains.” I wasn’t sure what they were made out of, but when I took a closer look at them, I finally can depict the materials that Nauman used to make those two water fountains sculptures. However, the longer I stare at the sculptures, the more I think of what is the meaning behind the artworks. The two water fountains sculptures make me think of “time passing” and how time symbolizes moment. I found it very interesting since Bruce chose to put the two water fountains sculptures as the opening of his exhibition “Disappearing Acts.” However, the overall effect opens up my interpretation to find out what are the rest of the exhibition is going to be like. Next, the second thing that I discovered at the exhibition was these small “TV screens” *(four to be exact) lying on the floor against a huge white box towards the center of the main opening exhibition area. By looking at those screens, I couldn’t tell that the screen was projected towards to or what the artwork is going to be. However, after I took a few labs to walk around the cube, I then realized that I was in the screens. At first, I wasn’t sure how Bruce did that, but then I saw these security cameras in each corner around the cube. The feelings of unsafe, being targeted, and familiarness brought my alert and attention when I realized the fact that I was caught on camera and it recorded every single step when I walked around the cube in circular motions. Next, I found out that Bruce also uses performative way of showing his artworks to the audience as well. For example, Nauman uses a “shirtless” man from the waist up and put makeup on that person’s face and his body as one of his artwork through his “Disappearing Arts” exhibition. It makes the audiences wondering what the artwork is about and brought up their curiosity on such a performative artwork. Moreover, I also found it quite interesting because Nauman uses many ways to show his view of modern art. Through the exhibition, Nauman uses sculpture, performative art, language, painting, and sound. It almost feels like Nauman grabs and use whatever materials that he can get and just put them all together and call it art. I enjoy the fact that Nauman uses language and words onto his art pieces, it makes the audience think back on their past and relinquish the things that they had experienced in the past. To wrap this up, I would say that I definitely got to know who Bruce Nauman is and have a better sense of what is his style of artwork and the way Nauman’s art defied categorization. After I discovered the exhibition “Disappearing Arts.” I can see Nauman potential on using different materials and exploring “Modern Art” through his career. Also, I enjoy that fact that Nauman is constantly shifting all different types of mediums, bodies, voices, colors, and words and put them onto his creation.


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