Bruce Nauman: Mindfuck with Philip Larratt Smith

bruce nauman_1985_sexanddeath_double69-Cpep6BThis month I did my first piece for the FAD website and got the opportunity to send off some interview questions to the curator of the new Bruce Nauman exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Mindfuck. The curator, Philip Larratt Smith, has a particular interest in psychoanalytic theory and his reading and curation of Nauman’s work is through a psychological lens.

There are a few snippets below but the full interview can be read on the FAD website here.

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“If it is aggressive this is merely as it should be, because this exhibition proposes nothing less than a radical revision of the understanding of Nauman’s work. I am aware that “mindfuck” could be viewed as a provocation, but I hope it is understood as thought-provoking rather than merely shocking.”

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“Nauman’s work does not at first glance fit into this category, since his work is not really the revelation of his individual subjectivity. Yet he has the rare gift to short-circuit and to provide a diagram – in the stick figures or basic phrases of his neons or his mousetrap-like installations – of human behaviour and human psychology when viewed from the highest level of abstraction. So in a sense his work provided a bird’s-eye-view of the psychology of the race.”


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