Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor)

Bruce Nauman (American, born in 1941)


Duration: 59 minutes, 30 seconds

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Video (color, sound)

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art


Film and video

Nauman works in many media - drawing, sculpture, photography, film, performance, and installation art. He has said: “If you don’t start out with canvas, you do all kinds of things, you sit in a chair and pace around … then the question goes back to what is art? And art is what an artist does, just sitting in the studio.” This video shows Nauman on his New Mexico ranch, building a corner from which to stretch a fence and hang a gate. The studio has become the world around him. The seemingly mundane and uneventful work begins and ends with written instructions on how to proceed, and the only sounds are those of the wind, Nauman’s activity, and the few words he exchanges at the end with is wife, artist Susan Rothenberg.


The artist; with Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York; purchased by MFA, Boston, September 20, 2000

Credit Line

Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Fund


© 2011 Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.