TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXHIBITIONS

DAVE HICKEY

Make It New

Bruce Nauman retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: Bad news from the studio, but real news nevertheless. Twenty-five years of pieces, each of which seems to have arisen out of a condition of sudden panic—out of the terror of not knowing, of having forgotten, willfully, day after day, what art is and what an artist might do—of having forgotten, even, what an artist is. A fountain? A source of mystic truths? A cruel instructor? A tortured clown? We get one brutal, last-ditch guess after another, and the whole practice of “artmaking” is reinvented, again and again, in cold desperation, from ground zero. Eschatological propositions are posed, reposed, and never quite discarded. Death is the mother of beauty? Cruelty is the mother of joy? Slavery is the mother of thought? Clearly, while the best pupils in the class are polishing up their dissertations,

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