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This word-image is one of a number of works involving word play created by Nauman during the 1970s. He compared making this lithograph to chiselling stone, to create a shallow relief. Nauman has connected his word works, involving anagrams, palindromes and mirror images, to his interest in the image reversal that took place when he removed the moulds from his early fibre glass sculptures. The frequently disturbing or ambiguous nature of the semi-concealed messages in the word-works is in contrast to the spare elegance of the images. Here the message discovered within the letters is the brutal phrase 'Rape Me'.

August 2004