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Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor)
Video (color, sound)
Edition 35/50
Inv. Nr. 64
Photo: © 2011 Bruce Nauman, Courtesy Sperone Westwater © VBK, Wien, 2011

Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico, USA

Bruce Nauman’s work is an art of exploration: he uses himself, his person and his witty inquisitive trademark to examine the parameters of art and the role of the artist through his experiments on physical boundaries. The video Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor) (1999) shows Bruce Nauman building a corner to stretch a fence and hang a gate in his ranch in New Mexico. This work celebrates the artist’s love of ranch life and of its mundane, repetitive physical activities, recalling his earlier video performance works made in his studio, such as Bouncing in the Corner (1968-1969) or Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square (1967-1968). Nauman works at his task in silence, interrupted only by the sound of the blowing wind, the tractor and the chain saw. The film’s rhythm is intended as a metaphor of Nauman’s work itself. It is concerned with the notion of artistic creation and of empiricism; it addresses central postmodernist concerns with a touch of rural humour; it re-examines the vital need for local culture and praxis in the age of globalization; at the same time, it echoes the accumulation of Nauman’s own creative strategies and personal rituals.