This video registration of a performance in his studio shows Bruce Nauman walking the perimeter of different shapes: circles, spirals and figure eights. Nauman recorded the performance on video because, unlike film, video was a medium that allowed him to make longer recordings. This videotape was recorded in a single take lasting almost one hour, which was the maximum capacity of video tape at that time. This aspect also serves to underline the time-based quality of the performance. By inverting the camera, the artist appears to be walking on the ceiling, an effect that Nauman amplified by holding his hands above his head – a physically demanding task in itself. In the video, Nauman’s arms seem to dangle at his sides. This performance gives literal expression to Nauman’s approach to art: ’art is what the artist does in his studio’. The inversion of the image suggests that the artist has defied gravity.
c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam



Time-based media

Production date



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video installation, black and white, sound

Object number

CA 149_124