Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage), a new large-scale video installation by Bruce Nauman, records the nocturnal activity in the artist's studio of his cat and an infestation of mice during the summer of 2000. With seven projections and multiple audio tracks of ambient sounds, Nauman, in his words, "used this traffic as a way of mapping the leftover parts and work areas of the last several years of other completed, unfinished, or discarded projects." The exhibition at Dia Center for the Arts, Nauman's first major museum exhibition in New York City since 1994, is on view from January 10 through June 16, 2002. An opening reception will be held on January 9 from 6-8 pm.
Seven greenish gray monochrome video projections will reveal facets of Nauman's studio and the residue of his practice, including molds and equipment. Audio speakers will project ambient sounds of the mice, Nauman's prowling cat, moths, and a screen door, along with other noises indicative of the studio's rural setting. Viewers may catch a dark flash of movement in their peripheral vision as a rodent speeds across the projection, with the occasional profile of the skulking predator or its striking head-on image, eyes glowing as it pauses in its chase.
The reference to the artist's work process implicit in Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) invokes certain of his early pieces of the late 1960s, when he directed his focus to pursuing regimented tasks in his San Francisco studio. For Flour Arrangements (1967), Nauman committed himself to making one ephemeral flour sculpture each day for over a month. His series of 16mm films from this time, such as Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square (Square Dance) (1967-68, 10 minutes) and Bouncing Two Balls Between the Floor and Ceiling with Changing Rhythms (1967-68, 10 minutes), were also recorded in his studio and involve one concentrated activity repeated for the duration of the film. Nauman is among the pioneers working with the medium of video. In his current involvement with recording incidents ostensibly both banal and pointless, he reverts to a recurrent theme in his oeuvre that has consistently proven as deceptive as it is disarming.
Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Nauman received a BS at the University of Wisconsin and an MFA from the University of California at Davis. Following his debut solo show in 1966 at the Nicolas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles, Nauman has exhibited widely in North America and Europe, including in Documenta IV (1968), V (1972), and VII (1982), and in the Whitney Biennials of 1984, 1991, and 1997. In 1972 the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organized a retrospective of his work. Nauman's most recent retrospective exhibition, organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in association with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., in 1994, traveled to other museums in Europe and the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1999 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. Nauman currently lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico, where he moved in 1979, developing a professional interest in horse breeding and training.
Support for this exhibition has been provided by Lannan Foundation and the members of the Dia Art Council.
Dia Art Foundation
Established in 1974, Dia Art Foundation plays a vital role among visual arts institutions nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects in nearly every medium. Its first major projects were long-term sited works of art not likely to be accommodated by conventional museums because of their nature or scale, created by artists such as Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd.
Dia presents a temporary exhibition program at Dia Center for the Arts in Chelsea, New York City, as well as a wide variety of supplementary programs, including lectures, screenings, and readings. Dia is currently constructing Dia:Beacon, a new facility in Beacon, New York, sixty miles north of New York City, to display its permanent collection. It will open in spring 2003.
Exhibition hours during the 2001-2002 season are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 6 pm, through June 16, 2002.