Bruce Nauman

Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor) (1999)

About this artwork

Lasting the full length of a video tape, 'Setting a Good Corner' documents Nauman’s efforts to construct a fence on his American ranch. From a fixed position, the camera captures the artist engrossed in various activities, including digging holes, securing foundations and setting tension wires. In the closing frames, comments from his neighbours scroll, like end-credits across the screen, offering an ambiguous finish to the film. With its detached staging of mundane activity presented in an unending loop, Nauman’s recording serves to reveal the laborious creative processes frequently hidden behind works of art.

  • title: Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor)
  • accession number: AR00576
  • artist: Bruce NaumanAmerican (born 1941)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Installation
  • subject: Video Art
  • date created: 1999
  • measurements: 59 mins, 30 secs
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman is considered one of the most influential artists working today. He was born in Indiana and initially studied Maths and Physics in Wisconsin, then Art in California. In 1965 he abandoned purely painting in favour of working in a variety of media. His work combines bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, linguistic manipulation and humour. In his early work, Nauman made wax casts of his body, moving on to make sculptural installations, photographs, films and performance pieces. Although Nauman's work has been associated with various movements, including performance, conceptual and body art, it always eludes precise categorisation. He represented America at the 2009 Venice Biennale.