Back to Parent

The work I chose to experience was Bruce Nauman's Having Fun/Good Life, Symptoms (1985). It is an installation of fabricated neon text in 2 spirals, with the spiral on the left reading "FEVER AND CHILLS  DRYNESS AND SWEATING  NORTH AND SOUTH  EAST AND WEST  OVER AND UNDER  FRONT AND BACK  UP AND DOWN  IN AND OUT" and the spiral on the right reading "I LIVE THE GOOD LIFE  I'M HAVING FUN  YOU LIVE THE GOOD LIFE  YOU'RE HAVING FUN  WE LIVE THE GOOD LIFE WE'RE HAVING FUN  THIS IS THE GOOD LIFE  THIS IS FUN".

At first glance, the piece seems out of place in the gallery next to the art that is static and doesn't give off light (although they were just as colorful). It is flashing, glowing, and buzzing. It catches your eye from across a hall. It is as much advertising the experiences it describes as it is commenting on them. (see pics below to get a feel for the vibrancy of the work) The piece is also quite expensive, using dual layers of color for each piece of text.

At the most basic level, I chose this work because I'm very visually attracted to the bright glow of neon signage. It calls to mind for me the urban and flashy - kind of like walking through Times Square for the first time, when you're too starstruck by all the signs to care about the hordes of people. In particular, the use of color and spiral positioning of the text is very compelling, like you're being drawn into the ideas the flashing work is presenting. The words themselves also seem to indicate that to a degree - both swirls move from personal experiences to more abstract ones. 

Content Rating

Is this a good/useful/informative piece of content to include in the project? Have your say!