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Bruce Nauman in "Identity"

Bruce Nauman transforms everyday activities, speech, and objects into works that are both familiar and alien. “I needed a different way to approach the idea of being an artist,” says Nauman. “I always thought that you can make something that appears to be functional, but when you try to and use it, you can’t figure out what its function might be. And that’s in the end what the function is, for you to figure out what to do with it.”

Filmed at Nauman’s ranch and studio outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the segment features several of Nauman’s recent explorations into video, text, and self-portraiture—materials and themes the artist has engaged for over thirty years.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman has been recognized since the early 1970s as one of the most innovative and provocative of America’s contemporary artists. Nauman finds inspiration in the activities, speech, and materials of everyday life. Working in the diverse mediums 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. A survey of his diverse output demonstrates the alternately political, prosaic, spiritual, and crass methods by which Nauman examines life in all its gory details, mapping the human arc between life and death.

“I needed a different way to approach the idea of being an artist.”

Bruce Nauman

Stairways

In this interview, Bruce Nauman talks about how he came to use stairs as a recurring motif in his work.

2:38
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Bruce Nauman

2:39
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Bruce Nauman

3:53
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