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Bruce Nauman, Pencil Lift/Mr. Rogers, 2013, two asynchronous video projections, color, sound, continuous loop.

Bruce Nauman

Sperone Westwater

Bruce Nauman, Pencil Lift/Mr. Rogers, 2013, two asynchronous video projections, color, sound, continuous loop.

If one had to imagine a sound track for this exhibition, it could be only the music of John Cage. The leitmotifs in Bruce Nauman’s new videos and drawings are chance and instability—themes central to Cage’s practice.

In both of the paired, asynchronous videos of Pencil Lift/Mr. Rogers, 2013, Nauman manipulates three yellow pencils that have been sharpened on both ends. He presses them together, lead to lead, lifts them into the air, and holds them there in a state of suspension; after a moment, he sets the pencils back down. In the nearly four-minute video on the left, Nauman performs this trick against a white background. We hear him speaking to the cameraperson about the position of the objects in front of the lens. In the video on the right, which lasts only forty-six seconds, Nauman performs the trick above a worktable; a cat, Mr. Rogers, walks by in the background. The

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