Bruce Nauman, Fondation Cartier, Paris

Creating artworks and performances that traverse genres and mediums, Bruce Nauman defies classification and stands as one of the most influential contemporary artists working today. A selection of multimedia installations, audio-visual pieces, and sculptures are on view at the Fondation Cartier – chosen as together they represent the artist’s multifaceted and ever-evolving practice.

The ground floor of the exhibition appears minimalist, three recent works forming the centre pieces. Anthro/Socio (Rinde Facing Camera) (1991) is repeated on 6 monitors and 3 projection screens, with a trained singer chanting statements such as “Feed Me/Eat Me/Anthropology” repeatedly, drawing in the viewer through what is seemingly direct contact. Confronting the performer is the piece titled Carousel (1988), in which casts of dismembered animals slowly turn in a circle, dragging noisily along the floor, and following this is Untitled (1970-2009) which sees two dancers roll endlessly on a carpet until they are completely exhausted.

Leading out into the garden, there is For Beginners (instructed piano) (2010) which allows visitors to listen to the live playing of musician Terry Allen – whose hands are directed by a set of instructions by Nauman, which take movement rather than sound into account.

Within the largest gallery is a large LED screen, hung in space so that the video piece Pencil Lift/Mr. Rogers (2013), seems freely suspended. The film sees finger tricks and pencils transform into optical illusions, disconcerting and taking on further meaning. Next door, Nauman’s voice repeats “For children:” evoking a meditative, trance-like feeling, evoking ideas of play, discipline and education.

Bruce Nauman, until 21 June, Fondation Cartier, 261, Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris.

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1. View of the exhibition Bruce Nauman, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 2015. Photo © Thomas Salva / Lumento.