Second Visit to Dia: Beacon

I visited Dia: Beacon for the second time on Sunday. Last time I was there the entire underground floor was closed. This time I finally got to see the Bruce Nauman collection and Dan Flavin’s green room installation I missed.

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Bruce Nauman, Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) (2001)

 

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Bruce Nauman, Corridor Installation (Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, California) (1970)

 

The two Bruce Nauman installations are perfect inspirations for the future haunted house that someday I’m going to build. Both installations are scary in a sophisticated, uncanny way.

Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) is a series of infrared videos projected onto walls of a half-enclosed  space. The videos are so non-eventful you might not even realize that they are videos (rather than still images) without watching them for more than a few minutes. If you sit on one of the chairs in the space for a while and really look at videos, every now and then, a shadow, or an unidentifiable figure would pass through one of the screens for a split second.

Corridor Installation consists of TV sets connected to surveillance cameras set up in three parallel, visually identical corridors. These TV sets function as electronic mirrors. On each of the TV screens, you either see the live image of the corridor next to the one you are present in, or the image of your own corridor captured from behind. Either way, you are seeing something that is strangely familiar and being denied physical access to the scene you see.