Friday, 22 April 2011

Bruce Nauman

With my proposed plans to produce self-portraits which display extreme and altered facial performances, comes the need to look to other artists who have dealt with similar subject matter. The first is Bruce Nauman.

From Study for Holograms

There is also a similar video performance 'Pinch Neck' found here.

Nauman argues for his own body to be considered as viable as any other object for the use of sculpture, as is evidenced in his famous Self-Portrait as a Fountain. The quality I see in the images above is the extremity to which Nauman transfigures his face – it almost becomes alien. And that extremism is something I would like to attempt, to show the great variation possible within the facial appearance, perhaps even to lead the audience to question how two very different expressions can have been produced by the same person.

The major disparity between the images above and the ones I intend to produce, is that Nauman removes his identity by cropping the work. I want my identity to be a feature of my images, so as to highlight my attempts at humour and self-mockery as a counter to narcissism. My simultaneous criticism and indulgence of vanity is a very personal aspect, which defines my work.  However Nauman's faces have led me to question to what extent my own facial performances could be considered as sculpture. A part of me feels happy for them to be thought of that way, as demonstrations of behaviours which I would encourage others to partake in. And this thought in turn lends support to my plans for an interactive element of my exhibition.

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