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  • 100 Live and Die - Bruce Nauman

    This piece is installed in a large circular room at the center of the Benesse House Museum in Naoshima, Japan. The room is the height of the entire museum and can be entered by visitors on the basement or ground level. These two doors are connected by a curving ramp that wraps halfway around the room. There are no windows in the sides of the walls and there is only natural daylight coming in from the skylight with some light coming in through the doors. The entire room is grey concrete, black banisters and brown doors. Directly in front of the artwork there are two chairs. Off to one side are another two chairs where the view of the piece is at about a 45 degree angle.

    The reason I describe the entire room is because the impact Nauman’s neon messages has is enhanced by the setting they’re placed in. The various “____ AND DIE” or “_____ AND LIVE” phrases lit up one by one seem to be the burning core of the room, and by extension the museum. 

    It was almost the first piece I viewed after entering the museum and I had to revisit it again before leaving. I sat there unblinking, not in the slightest thinking about anything else, for what seems like quite a while. I held my breath waiting for the moment all 100 were finished blinking on and off one by one and all 100 lit up together, emblazoning their dire and optimistic messages.

    Photo by Carey Ciuro (found on Flickr)


    I am very excited to invite you all to the opening (and closing) reception of a one night group show called Reading Paintings happening this Friday !

    There will be 14 artists exhibiting, some form of live music and drinks. The space is a huge empty loft in DUMBO that will be ours for the night. If you are in NYC, please drop by! It would also would be amazing to meet internet friends. All the details are on the flier! 

    So magnusatom sends me a link to Hellen Jo’s latest new work and I comment on how it looks really familiar…to which he responds with this image that I then found in my archives way back in November 2011. So great when you find out an artist you like is still making awesome work.

    AND I also learned that the work I posted of Hellen Jo’s, titled Yuki, is based on Haruki Murakami’s Dance, Dance, Dance. My favorite author. Funny coincidences you learn about.

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