‘Nauman Archive for the Future’: a series of conversations

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Wed, 02/15/2023 - 16:43

‘Nauman Archive for the Future’: a series of conversations

Inspired by the exhibition ‘Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies’ at Punta della Dogana, a series of online conversations entitled ‘Bruce Nauman Archive for the Future’ was produced.

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By Palazzo Grassi,

Inspired by the exhibition ‘Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies’ at Punta della Dogana, a series of online conversations entitled ‘Bruce Nauman Archive for the Future’ was produced. These discussions, which aim to spark a debate on the potential impact - both past and future - of Bruce Nauman’s oeuvre, serve as an extension of sorts to the exhibition at Punta della Dogana and were led by its curators, Carlos Basualdo and Caroline Bourgeois, with the involvement of a group of artists, choreographers and critics from the international scene.

The series of conversations - which are available online - featured figures such as Philippe Parreno (artist), Anne Imhof (artist), Boris Charmatz (dancer and choreographer), Paul Maheke (performer), Élisabeth Lebovici (art historian), Ralph Lemon (performer), Tatiana Trouvé (artist), Teodor Currentzis (orchestral conductor), Lenio Kaklea (dancer and choreographer), Elisabetta Benassi (artist) and Nairy Baghramian (artist).

Opening the series is Philippe Parreno, an artist featured in the Pinault Collection and one of the most interesting figures on the artistic panorama today. Influenced by Bruce Nauman, he explores Marcel Duchamp’s legacy through an amplified reflection on the temporality of exhibitions, much as the artist himself has done from the outset.

Teodor Currentzis is an orchestral conductor and musician, one of the most impressive breakthrough names in music in recent years. Together with the hosts, he explores some questions around sound, one of the most important factors in Bruce Nauman’s artistic production.

Ralph Lemon is a multifaceted figure: choreographer, writer, visual artist and curator, not to mention winner of the MacArthur Fellows Program ‘Genius Grant’. He recently worked on his own personal interpretation of one of Bruce Nauman’s creations, as well as participating in the ‘Dancing Studies’ series of performances (link to article).

Élisabeth Lebovici - an art historian and critic who is particularly active with regard to issues such as sexuality, queerness, gender and LGBTQIA+ rights - discussed the artist’s work on two different occasions.

Dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz is one of the leading figures in the contemporary world of his discipline, and has a strong interest in the world of art and exhibitions, so much so that he has echoed Bruce Nauman’s work in his own.

Paul Maheke, an up-and-coming young photographer and performer, was called upon to lend a voice from the latest generation to the conversations, particularly on the topics of identity and self-representation, including through his personal reproductions of some of Bruce Nauman’s performances.

Conceptual artist Elisabetta Benassi bases her work on the occasionally controversial political, artistic and cultural heritage of the modern world. Her discussion with the hosts focuses on how this type of process is remarkably similar to the one used by Bruce Nauman, especially in terms of its multidisciplinary approach.

Lenio Kaklea is an internationally-renowned dancer, choreographer and writer who has studied with professionals who have collaborated with Bruce Nauman in producing some of his work. Thanks to her experiences with other conceptual dancers and the creation of her own unique style - a blend of dance and critical theory - she proved the ideal choice to lead a performance during the ‘Dancing Studies’ series of performances, as well as to participate in this series of online discussions.

Originally Iranian, Nairy Baghramian is an artist who later emigrated to Berlin, which works were presented during the exhibition ‘Slip of the Tongue’ and ‘Untitled, 2020’ at Punta della Dogana. Her work, which addresses body language, makes for an interesting comparison with that of Bruce Nauman.

Anne Imhof is amongst the most provocative painters, sculptors and performers of her generation. The sense of alienation and detachment expressed by the performers participating in her works is intended to convey a refutation of the power structure and unwritten rules of contemporary society - characteristics also commonly found in the works of Bruce Nauman.

French-Italian artist Tatiana Trouvé discusses her research and work, which are both based on the concept of ‘space’ and the paradox it creates. The subject of the work and performances produced by Bruce Nauman on this very concept makes for an interesting topic of analysis with her.

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