- Bruce Nauman born 1941
- Video, high definition, projection, colour and sound (stereo)
- Duration: 3min
- Lent by Tate Americas Foundation in honour of Sir Nicholas Serota with support from Jeanne Donovan Fisher, John Studzinksi, Paul Britton, Henry Christensen III, Pamela Joyner, Marjorie Susman, David Meitus and Angela Westwater 2018
On long term loan
Walks In Walks Out 2015 is a colour video projection lasting three minutes. It was initially made by Nauman as a tool to show the correct scale for projecting his seven-part video installation Contrapposto Studies 2015–16. Using his own height as a guide, it was intended to demonstrate how Contrapposto Studies i through vii would be installed at the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York. The artist is seen wearing a white t-shirt and dark jeans, walking in and out of several video projections in which he wears the same outfit, in order to demonstrate scale. Throughout the course of the work, he walks in and out of a sequence from each of the seven Contrapposto Studies for approximately thirty seconds each time, as follows:
Contrapposto Study i: 30.64 seconds
Contrapposto Study ii: 29.63 seconds
Contrapposto Study iii: 25.49 seconds
Contrapposto Study iv: 27.71 seconds
Contrapposto Study v: 22.24 seconds
Contrapposto Study vi: 22.56 seconds
Contrapposto Study vii: 22.18 seconds
Contrapposto Studies i through vii takes as its point of departure Nauman’s seminal video work from 1968, Walk with Contrapposto, in which he performed an exaggerated walk along a purpose-built narrow corridor. The seven projections progress from a straightforward view to split screens, in which the artist’s top and bottom halves move independently. Contrapposto, the Italian word for ‘counterpose’, is a term applied to classical sculpture and figure drawing in which the figure stands in a counterbalanced pose, suggesting motion. Walks In Walks Out may therefore be read as a comment on the artist’s place within the history of art, as well as on his own career history and working methods, and the presentation of his work within the gallery environment. As such, it is a multi-layered piece with significance within Nauman;s recent output, using the technology of the twenty-first century to reflect upon the playful and experimental spirit of his early video works.
Walks In Walks Out also relates to a broader trend in Nauman’s practice in which he explores the body and physical behaviour. Confronted with ‘What to do?’ in his studio soon after graduating, Nauman had the simple, but profound realisation that, as an artist, whenever he was in the studio then whatever he was doing must be art (see, for example, his video Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square 1968 [Museum of Modern Art, New York]). Working in the diverse media of sculpture, video, film, printmaking, performance and installation, Nauman has concentrated 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.
Bruce Nauman, exhibition catalogue and catalogue raisonné, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 1994.
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