Media Arts Watch

Bruce Nauman: No, No, New Museum

August 3–October 14, 2018
MAG is proud to present No, No, New Museum, an iconic video work by Bruce Nauman, one of the most influential artists to emerge since the late 1960s.

No, No, New Museum is an endlessly looped video recording of a green-costumed jester performing a temper tantrum, incessantly protesting “no, no, no, no, no…!” There’s no mistaking it: this is a full-fledged, albeit scripted, temper tantrum. The sharp, jarring cuts and tight focus make the high-pitched and delirious expression of frustration and rejection even more intense, abrasive, and disturbing than it would otherwise be.

Part of a series called “Clown Torture,” the video was commissioned for the New Museum in New York City. It was originally displayed in the museum’s storefront window on Broadway in 1987. What does it mean for an artwork to say “no” to the museum that commissioned it? What does it mean for a museum to display a work of art that vociferously denies its very existence?

Bruce Nauman is a pioneering artist who questions aesthetic values and established norms of good and bad. His artistic efforts are as urgent today as they’ve ever been when so many established norms are being upended.

Read the press release.

shown: Bruce Nauman (American, b. 1941)
No, No, New Museum, 1987
Videotape (color, sound), 62 minutes © Art Bridges

Previously at Media Arts Watch

What is Media Art?

Media Arts watch
Media art includes artworks that explore the technologies and aesthetics of film as well as the emerging tools and practices in the realms of video, computers, virtual reality, the internet, software, and mobile devices.

John G. Hanhardt

John G. Hanhardt
John G. Hanhardt is MAG’s consulting senior curator of media arts. Hanhardt began his museum career in the department of film and video at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and from there went to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis to establish its film program and film study collection. From 1974 to 1996, he was curator and head of the film and video department at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He was the senior curator of film and media arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 1996 to 2006. He joined the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s staff in 2006, and was a consulting senior curator of film and media arts there until 2016.

As a native of Rochester and University of Rochester alum, Hanhardt was inspired by photography, film, and media arts during frequent visits to the George Eastman Museum and by the programming of the Visual Studies Workshop.


A conversation with Isaac Julien, fine artist and filmmaker who came from London to Rochester, NY for a visit with curator Jonathan Binstock and John Hanhardt. #MediaArtsWatch