Manipulating a Fluorescent Tube, 1969

In the darkness of his studio, Bruce Nauman is sitting on the floor as in a dance exercise, a neon tube placed between his outspread legs. After a few minutes, he leans forward, closing one leg over the tube while maintaining the position of his feet. In the course of the film, he changes the relationship of his body to the tube several times, maintaining each position for a further few minutes. The flickering neon tube becomes an extension of his body and the only source of light. Object and body merge into a single entity that is fragmented by a light that sometimes dazzles and sometimes obscures.

Nauman understood that the process of artistic creation was as important as art itself, so everything he produced alone in his studio was also art. The important part of this process was no longer the product but the activity.

Technical details

Original title:
Manipulating a Fluorescent Tube
Registration number:
Nauman, Bruce
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, b/w, sound, 62 min
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Bruce Nauman, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.