Bruce Nauman

Lip Sync


Werk - Lip Sync
Artist / Artist group
Bruce Nauman
Lip Sync
video, Analog video
Material / Technique
Betacam SP, b/w, mono
Dimensions / Duration
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

In his early video works, the American concept artist Bruce Nauman focuses on human sensory perception. From a socially critical stance, he deals with the “condition humaine” – the conditions and circumstances of being human – and provokes feelings ranging from indifference or irritation to fear or aggression with his artistic mise-en-scène.

In the one-hour loop »Lip Sync«, Nauman’s mouth, filmed by a camera rotated 180 degrees, repeatedly articulates the words “lip sync.” Image and sound are alternately asynchronous, then synchronous again, so that attentive viewers hear something other than what they see. Recipients unconsciously try to reconcile this asynchrony of image and language and fail. Nauman uses the body as a minimalist tool, turning it into a moving sculpture. Skeptical of audience participation, he was one of the first artists to record his performances – on 16 mm film alone in his atelier – and present them as video works.

Author: Jenny Starick

About the artist/s