Bruce Nauman’s, ‘Mapping the Studio’

Bruce Nauman’s, ‘Mapping the Studio’

I am intrigued in the artists studio. Its such a personal space, where so much of the artist is present, when he or she are not there. You can get a snece of personality and persona of the creator, just from admiring their place of work.

Room 12 At the Tate Modern, ‘Exposed:Voyerism, Surveillance and the Camera’, you come across Bruce Nauman’s, ‘Mapping the Studio’.


Bruce Nauman, Mapping the Studio I - All Action Edit (Fat Chance


Nauman recorded his studio in New Mexico at night using an infrared video camera. For a period of several months he positioned his camera to show different areas of the studio, documenting the objects in the room as they had been left that day as well as the mice that scuttle in and out of the frame. This early version of Mapping the Studio, made in 2001, focuses on his office desk as well as a number of works in progress. Nauman later used the footage to make a seven-screen video installation which puts the viewer into the position of a spy or voyeur invading his private working space.

In this video installation, from 2001, Nauman trains seven cameras on areas of his studio where mice could be seen moving about. Then, he recorded everything that happened overnight. At first it seems like a whole lot of nothing. But upon closer viewing, things start to happen. You see a mouse, an insect, Nauman’s cat. Sure, the pacing is slow, but what Nauman is asking of his audiences is for them to shift how they perceive time, movement, contingency. Nauman’s ability to see and hear what happens in his studio when he isn’t there, when he isn’t even awake, and to share this reordering of sensory experience is “most definitely new” from an evolutionary perspective.

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