O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

I Just Got Back From Nauman

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2005
Kirk Lake's 300 Words From London
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2005
Kirk Lake's 300 Words From London

The first time this winter that it has actually been cold. Really cold. Walking along the Thames with real icy blasts. My coat buttoned up, walking fast, pitched forward hands in pockets against a tide of sweating, steaming joggers. It's always like that. The Jubilee walk is more like stumbling into the path of some thirty year olds fun-run. Where are they going? Why?

There's a Bruce Nauman (Earlier clowning from BN - pictured above) thing at Tate Modern. One of the Unilever Series created for the huge Turbine Hall. Its called Raw Materials. Its been there for some time. In fact it's been there longer than its going to stay there so maybe its an odd choice for this notional review.

Its taken me almost four months to be bothered to go. You see it really doesn't sound like much on paper. Twenty pairs of speakers playing bands of sound across the Turbine Hall; excerpts from Nauman's work looped over and over. But finally I'm  there on a cold Wednesday morning and its  a revelation. It made me laugh.

There is a constant drone and then, as you walk around, snatches of conversation, jabbering, madman's chatter, "shit in your hat", "you listen to us/ we'll talk to you", somebody screaming NO NO NO NO... and it shifts in and out and mixes with the sounds of the viewers and their footsteps and it's a lot like waiting in a bus queue in Kilburn but without the chicken bones and chewing gum under your feet.

I like this kind of art. Chance and change and randomness. Cage intellectualized it, Burroughs took it from Gysin and developed the cut-up, Hip-hop acts and other musicians evolved it into sampling and made it fun. 

And Nauman is a funny artist. Beuys and Nauman would've been better TV than  Reeves and Mortimer. Now why don't they give out prizes to the funniest artists?

see more stories from outsideleft's Culture archive »»

Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Editor's Notes 001
Gillian Welch reboots
Gillian Welch's Boots No. 1 revisits her landmark first album
Hair & Make-Up: The Audience, Peripheral
Ongoing TV Matters with the Primetime Emmy® Awards nominees... We don't name the names.
Bang On with Your Fangs On: Vampire Weekend and Panther
Vampire Weekend and Panther both sink their teeth into their favorite records for short-lived but palpable thrills
I Love Lucy
Globally acclaimed muralist Lucy McLauchlan presents Birmingham By Pass at the Centrala Gallery until July 8th
State of the Summer Slate '08: Gone Early
It's been years since our resident movie man Seth got so excited about a slate of summer movies... This season he sees them all so you won't have to
Some of our favorite things...