A newly-acquired, major work by the American artist Bruce Nauman goes on view on Monday 11 October to complement Nauman’s Unilever Series commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. The work will be on display on Level 5 of Tate Modern until March 2006.
This work has been jointly acquired by Kunstmuseum, Basel, the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris with the support from Mr and Mrs William S. Fisher Family Foundation and the Georges Pompidou Art and Culture Foundation and Tate, London. Tate was supported in this purchase by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery. This is the second time that Tate has co-purchased a major installation piece, the first being the successful joint purchase by Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Tate of Five Angels for the Millennium by Bill Viola in 2003.
MAPPING THE STUDIO II with color shift, flip, flop & flip/flop (Fat Chance John Cage) 2001 is an installation which consists of seven video projections onto the four gallery walls. The piece uses footage shot by Nauman in his studio at night using an infrared video camera located at seven different positions. The footage was shot over the summer in 2000. It captures the remnants of past works, works in progress and general studio detritus, the stillness of which is irregularly interrupted by mice, moths and the artist’s dogs and cat. These activities, combined with the eerie noises of trains, horses, coyotes, wind and rain create a heightened awareness of space, sound and time. Each projection is five hours and forty five minutes and runs continuously.
MAPPING THE STUDIO II introduces more formal invention than its predecessor Mapping the Studio I, originally exhibited at the Dia Centre for the Arts, New York in 2002. MAPPING THE STUDIO II works in colour shift and image manipulation. Colours change gradually from red to green to blue and back to red within a twenty eight minute period. To flip an image is to reverse it on the horizontal axis (from left to right), to flop an image is to reverse it on the vertical axis (upside down). To flip/flop an image is to reverse an image both horizontally and vertically. These manoeuvres occur approximately every fifteen minutes.
The installation also includes a log book which will be displayed in an adjacent room. The log book features the ‘action’ as it occurred during the filming of each location. Consequently, each of the seven locations has its own pages of the log with the chapter, hour, minute, second, frame and description of events information listed. In addition Tate has separately acquired, also thanks to The American Fund for the Tate Gallery, two spiral-bound lined notebooks which relate to this work and will also be displayed alongside the log book. The notations that Nauman made in these books as he viewed the raw footage were used as a guide for the final editing of MAPPING THE STUDIO I and II.
Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bruce Nauman has been recognized since the early 1970s as one of the most innovative and provocative of America’s contemporary artists. Working in the diverse media of sculpture, video, film, printmaking, performance, and installation, Nauman concentrates less on the development of a characteristic style and more on the way in which a process or activity can transform or become a work of art.