Images of sixteen men and women are shown, one by one, as they run on a conveyor belt against a black background. They appear to be in a complete void. The camera films the runners from all kinds of angles: sometimes from the front, from the knees up, then in profile or a focus on one of the limbs in close up. The heavy breathing of their exertions is audible. The tight close-ups of the limbs lend the moving body parts an almost abstract, mechanical character. Running was already a central element in Bruce Nauman’s early studio performances. In his early work Nauman himself performed the actions in his studio. In this work however he has substituted his own presence with that of actors, swaps his artist’s studio for a Hollywood film studio and replaces black-and-white with colour film. The title of ‘pursuit’ suggests a narrative element, as though the runners are close on each other’s heels. In fact they are merely visible in the same place, one at a time, all seeking to find their own rhythm.
c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Makers

Collection

Time-based media

Production date

1975

Library

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Material

film (16 mm), colour, sound

Object number

CA 104_71