NEW YORK, NY.-
The single-work, sound installation Bruce Nauman: Days will fill The Museum of Modern Art
s Special Exhibition Gallery, from June 2 to August 23, 2010. Days (2009), by Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941), was created for the artists solo exhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale, where he represented the United States. The work, a recent addition to the Museums collection, consists of a continuous stream of seven voicesmen and women, old and youngemanating from fourteen speakers, reciting the days of the week in an order devised by the artist. The speakers are directional, transmitting each voice, marked by its own tempo, pitch, tonality, and cadence, to visitors close by and a cacophonous yet resonant chorus to visitors between the speakers or farther away.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, Nauman has developed a provocative body of work that covers a wide range of mediums and disciplines, including performance, video, photography, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking. As a sculptor he has employed materials as diverse as bronze, fiberglass, concrete, and neon light. Language and sound have played important roles in his work throughout his career, and in Days these immaterial elements become mediums of sculpture. The content of the workthe names of the days of the weekmay reflect the artists oft-stated belief that the best solution to a problem is usually the simplest, yet these banal words order our lives and govern our behavior. In Days they are a profound expression of the passing of time. A 1967 neon-light piece by Nauman spells out the sentence The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths.
Naumans most recent attempt to adhere to this maxim, Days invites visitors to reflect on how we measure, differentiate, and commemorate time.