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UAL Research Online

His Raw Materials: Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern.

MacDonald, Claire (2005) His Raw Materials: Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern. Performing Arts Journal: a Journal of Performance and Art, 27 3. pp. 93-100. ISSN 1520-281X

Type of Research: Article
Creators: MacDonald, Claire

This essay was part of my ongoing research interest in the relationship between language, voice, writing and sound composition in art, and in the work of American artists who began their careers in the late 1950s. It considered as its core Bruce Nauman’s 2005 installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern from a theoretical and historical perspective focussing on Nauman’s interest in language, sound and musical composition. My title played on his (‘Raw Materials’) and on the Miltonic reference in Philip Pullman’s theatrical Trilogy ‘His Dark Materials’ playing at the time at the National Theatre. I connected this with the oblique reference to John Cage in roar/raw, and the references in Nauman’s work to Cage’s ‘Roaratorio’, suggesting a dynamic interplay around authorship, primal matter, voice, text and sound as material elements, and alchemy. The fact that Nauman may not have had any idea of Pullman’s juxtaposed (half a mile away) trilogy, only added to the Naumanesque magnetism between the titles. In experiencing the work I moved through the Cage connection to realizing Nauman’s deep interest in and conscious references to the work of Alvin Lucier and Steve Reich, and through research, learned that he had worked with Reich in the late 1950s and had been the subject of Reich’s research for his piece Pendulum Music. The article is one of several that re-see and re-member visual art in terms of other art forms – language poetry, music and literature. Rather than seeing this art as interdisciplinary I see instances of artistic expression within the terms and conditions suggested by other forms. The conceptual power and conscious literary (to Beckett particularly) and musical references within the construction of Nauman’s work made this especially fruitful as a research project that has led to other writings in progress.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 1 September 2005
Digital Object Identifier: unavailable
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:00
Last Modified: 11 May 2011 10:05
Item ID: 1229
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1229

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