A recent addition to the Museum’s collection, Bruce Nauman’s Days (2009) was created for, and debuted at, the 2009 Venice Biennale, where the artist represented the United States with the solo exhibition Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens. Days is a “sound sculpture” consisting of a continuous stream of seven voices reciting the days of the week in random order. Fourteen suspended speakers are installed in two rows with one voice emanating from each pair of speakers as the visitor passes between them. There are men’s voices and women’s voices, old and young. Some speak swiftly, others with pause, each with his or her own cadence. The collection of distinctive voices produces a chorus—at times cacophonous, at others, resonant—and creates a sonic cocoon that envelops the visitor. The work invokes both the banality and the profundity of the passing of each day, and invites reflection on how we measure, differentiate, and commemorate time.
Organized by Doryun Chong, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
The exhibition is made possible by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley and by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
Bruce Nauman. Days (installation view). 2009. One audio source consisting of seven stereo audio files, fourteen speakers, two amplifiers, and additional equipment. Dimensions variable. Audio (fourteen channels). Continuous play. The Museum of Modern Art, New York (Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds, Gift of The Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Agnes Gund, The Hess Foundation, Michael Ovitz, Jerry I. Speyer, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation, Donald B. Marron, and The Jill and Peter Kraus Contemporary Acquisition Fund) and Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, Basel, Switzerland.
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