Bruce Nauman DISAPPEARING ACTS THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, MOMA PS1 OCTOBER 21, 2018 - FEBRUARY 25, 2019
“Video — new to art, cheap to produce, easy to show — became a primary medium for Mr. Nauman and with it he continued, for a while, to be his own most malleable subject. In a piece called “Art Make-Up: No. 1 White, No. 2 Pink, No. 3 Green, No. 4 Black,” he smears his face and bare chest with layers of colored pigment. He’s turning himself into a living painting, but he also seems to be playing with the fictions and stigmas of race at a time — 1967-68 — when America was burning with racial violence.
In the seven-channel video installation ‘‘Mapping the Studio II (Fat Chance John Cage),” from 2001, the body, in all its manifestations, is gone. For this monumental work Mr. Nauman set video cameras running in his studio overnight for several nights to record what happens when he wasn’t there. A lot does: distant dogs bark, coyote cubs howl, mice scamper, cats prowl, hunting. The result is a ground-level study in first and last things. And an art-and-life lesson in how to be absent, and not.”