Please Pay Attention Please: Bruce Nauman’s Words: Writings by Bruce Nauman

By Bruce Nauman

Because the Sixties, the artist Bruce Nauman has built a hugely advanced and pluralistic oeuvre starting from discrete sculpture, functionality, movie, video, and text-based works to difficult multipart installations incorporating sound, video recording and screens, and architectural buildings. Nauman’s paintings is frequently interpreted when it comes to activities and mediums, together with functionality, postminimalism, technique, and conceptual artwork, thereby emphasizing its obvious eclecticism. yet what's frequently missed is that underlying those probably disparate creative developments are conceptual continuities, one among that's an research of the character of language.

Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Nauman has kept away from engaging within the serious discourse surrounding his personal paintings. He has given quite few interviews over the process his occupation and has little to do with the paintings press or serious institution. certainly, he granted Janet Kraynak and The MIT Press nearly entire autonomy within the coaching of this quantity. unlike Nauman?s acceptance for silence, besides the fact that, from the start of his occupation, the incorporation of language has been a primary characteristic of his artwork. This assortment takes as its start line the seeming paradox of an artist of so few phrases who produces an artwork of such a lot of words.

Please watch out Please includes all of Nauman’s significant interviews from 1965 to 2001, in addition to a complete physique of his writings, together with directions and thought texts, dialogues transcribed from audio-video works, and prose texts written in particular for install sculptures. the place correct, the texts are followed by means of illustrations of the works of art for which they have been composed. within the serious essay that serves because the book’s advent, the editor investigates Nauman’s paintings in terms of the linguistic flip in artwork practices of the 1960s—understanding language throughout the speech act—and its legacy in modern artwork.

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Additional info for Please Pay Attention Please: Bruce Nauman’s Words: Writings and Interviews

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Writing in the late sixties against the tide of structuralism, Benveniste reintroduces the subject as a central problematic of language. Emile Benveniste, Problems in General Linguistics, trans. Mary Elizabeth Meek (Coral Gables Florida: University of Miami Press, 1971). I want to thank Leah Dickerman who first suggested I consider Benveniste’s theories in relation to my earlier work on Nauman’s art and linguistic subjectivity. 46. , 226. 47. , 206–207. 48. While the viewer does not literally repeat Nauman’s every move—that is, his exaggerated, slow gait—he or she nonetheless follows the same action: walking in and out of the corridor.

6. , 14 (emphasis added). 7. , 15. In Saussurean semiology, linguistic signs are defined in terms of a series of differences, and communication is subject to a formal model, realized in maps and diagrams. For Bakhtin, however, such an approach is fundamentally flawed. He writes, “Courses in general linguistics (even serious ones like Saussure’s) frequently present graphic-schematic depictions of the two partners in speech communication—the speaker and the listener (who perceives speech)—and provide diagrams of the active speech processes of the speaker and the corresponding passive processes of the listener’s perception and understanding of the speech.

After spelling out the rest of the letters “R-A-G-U-S” in the same manner, he would say, “What’s that spell? ” But in addition to the imperative verb and dialogical structure, the four examples described above reveal something else—namely, an extensive use of the personal pronoun. This is most explicitly evident in Good Boy Bad Boy (and in World Peace Projected, to draw upon an earlier example), where the two actors recite a dialogue composed of a series of related phrases in conjunction with the linguistic shifters “I,” “You,” and “We”: “I’m alive.

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