25 August – 22 December 2016 Copenhagen Contemporary, Papirøen
It is with great pride that Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) becomes the first art institution in Scandinavia to present a comprehensive exhibition of works by the American artist icon Bruce Nauman. The exhibition features several of Bruce Nauman’s major works: a corridor, a hanging carousel with animal carcasses, a work from the Raw Material series and several of his experimental films, plus neon works.
Throughout his long career Bruce Nauman (b. 1941) has worked with many media and materials. His artistic practice ranges from traditional modes of expression such as drawing, photography and sculpture through neon works and video to installation and performance art. Nauman’s extensive oeuvre explores fundamental concepts like boredom, repetition and irritation. Using claustrophobic installations, endurance- straining performances and intricate wordplay in neon, Nauman creates situations in which the viewer becomes physically or mentally disoriented, teased or challenged. Since the 70s Bruce Nauman has been one of the most important artists in the development of art that involves the viewer as an active part of the work. The exhibition at CC shows several sides of Nauman’s artistic activity, not least the spatial works into which the exhibition visitor is invited to step. In these spaces Nauman bombards the senses of the visitor with a variety of sensory impressions that may trigger feelings of claustrophobia, mental disorientation, fascination or straightforward irritation.
The installation Green Light Corridor (1970) is one of Nauman’s famous corridor works. In the encounter with the work the visitor faces a choice: do you want to, do you dare to walk through such a narrow passage? The feeling of claustrophobia and confinement is already there even before you actually enter the work. If you dare to go in, the sense of touch in particular is stimulated in the close contact with the walls of the work – thus affecting the visitor psychologically.
Bizarre death carousel
Bruce Nauman changes course several times in his artistic work. Many of the recent sculptures become installations – or carousels, as Nauman calls them – with foam-rubber bodies that are normally used to stuff animals. In the exhibition you can experience Hanging Carousel (George skins a fox) (1988), a giant mobile. On the carousel hang five foam-rubber animals and a small TV screen showing a hunter flaying a fox.