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Please Pay Attention Please


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About the Author

Janet Kraynak is a New York-based art historian.


This volume underlines one of the central paradoxes of contemporary artist Nauman's diverse and illustrious oeuvre: despite his taciturn nature, many of his sculptures, photographs, performance pieces, and videos pertain to language. Art historian Kraynak has performed a great service in compiling all of the major interviews of the artist from 1965 to the present, many of which appeared in obscure, now out-of-print journals or nowhere at all, making this an essential research tool for 20th-century art acolytes. (One should also check out Robert Morgan's recent Bruce Nauman.) Kraynak's thoughtful opening essay shifts critical attention away from the role of structural semiotics in Nauman's wordplay to the concept of the performative speech act, although she neglects to mention other artists also working with and through language. This anthology stresses Nauman's words over his images and should not be a primary resource for looking closely at visual components of the artist's work. But Kraynak makes a powerful argument for the primacy of language throughout Nauman's career, an argument that Nauman seems to support in his own words. Recommended for larger general collections and essential for specialized art libraries.-Prudence Peiffer, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Kraynak has performed a great service in compiling all of the major interviews of the artist from 1965 to the present...An essential research tool for 20th century art acolytes." - Prudence Peiffer, Library Journal; "The 14 interviews that make up the bulk of this book reinforce [the] enigmatic portrait of an artist who is attempting to be candid while retaining his mystery....For those looking for a window into conceptual art, Please Pay Attention Please is a rewarding and accessible point of entry." - Francis Raven, Rain Taxi"

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