Bruce Nauman Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor), 1999

June 10 - August 6, 2022

The Vault

Film still from Bruce Nauman's Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor), 1999, single-channel video, transferred to DVD, 60 minutes. Edition of forty. © 2022 Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York⁠

Press Release

In The Vault, CvsD is pleased to present Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor) by Bruce Nauman.  Filmed in 2000, after a six-year hiatus from making videos, Setting a Good Corner is an hour-long study of Nauman on his New Mexico ranch building a corner for a fence.  Relating to Nauman’s early videos from the 70s that recorded his activities in the studio, Nauman here focuses on his activities at his ranch in a similar vein.  Through the course of the video Nauman, clad in work clothes, cowboy hat and boots, set in the arid New Mexico desert, is observed using hand and power tools, placing various elements for the fence, and at one point is visited by his wife (the late artist Susan Rothenberg) and the family dogs.  The video commences with a text written by Nauman emphasizing the importance of a good corner as well as detailing his construction strategy.  The video concludes with notes from his ranch partner, critiquing Nauman’s work on the fence.  About his process, Nauman has said “…what makes the work interesting is if you choose the right questions. Then, as you proceed, the answers are what’s interesting. If you choose the wrong questions and you proceed, you still get a result, but it’s not interesting. And so, that’s in there. I think I learned some of that from Sol LeWitt, who does a lot of that. He builds a structure that you have to work with, and the work could come out different every time. But if you follow the structure, it’s interesting—sometimes beautiful and sometimes just interesting.”