Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman’s comment on his early video works is legendary: ‘There was nothing in the studio because I didn’t have much money for materials. So I was forced to examine myself and what I was doing there’. This led to haunting video pieces in which Nauman films himself carrying out self-appointed tasks: experiments designed for the (artist’s own) body. For his 1968 work Bouncing in the Corner No.1, he has himself fall backwards into the corner of his studio over and over again for almost an hour—rhythmically, relentlessly, and seemingly unfazed. Lip Sync was produced a year later. In this piece, Nauman tries to mimic an audiotape of a voice repeating the words ‘lip sync, sync lip’ over and over again, which he listens to through headphones. In his attempts to sync his words with the audiotape, mistakes keep creeping in: his mouth and tongue are not always in sync. His own body, its possibilities as well as its limitations, constitute the material for Nauman’s early works.