Bruce NaumanViolent Incident 1986

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Artwork details

Bruce Nauman (born 1941)
Violent Incident
Date 1986
MediumVideo, 12 monitors, colour and sound
Dimensionsunconfirmed: 2000 x 2500 x 900 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1993


In 1973 Nauman employed professional actors for the first time in his videotapes, previously having used his own body. He then stopped working with video for twelve years, returning to it in 1985 (see Good Boy, Bad Boy Tate T06853). He has said that the confrontational work he made around this time stemmed from his feelings of 'anger and frustration … My work comes out of being frustrated about the human condition. And about how people refuse to understand other people. And about how people can be cruel to each other. It's not that I think I can change that, but it's just such a frustrating part of human history.' (Quoted in Simon, p.148.) Nauman has stated:

Violent Incident begins with what is supposed to be a joke - but it's a mean joke

… I started with a scenario, a sequence of events which was this: Two people come to a table that's set for dinner with plates, cocktails, flowers… (read more)

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