Bruce Nauman’s Body Pressure (No Meme)

Body Pressure Bruce Nauman poster

Since I went to the Dia:Beacon museum a few months ago, I’ve been using Bruce Nauman’s prints as car mats. This is kind of embarrassing. When I first picked up the free poster at Dia, I noticed a kid walking around with it rolled up like it was a light saber. So I’m not that ashamed of finding another use for it. On the poster are instructions for performing “Body Pressure.” I tried it this morning. Pressing my body against one of the only clear walls in my small apartment, I gave it a whirl for about a minute. It was sort of like planking standing up, without being an Internet meme. I didn’t have the erotic experience it was supposed to evoke. All I left behind on the wall was a greasy smear from my forehead’s sweat. Try it sometime, maybe it’ll work for you. Follow each step after the jump.

Transcription via Piet Mondriaan

“Body pressure” a 1974 performance piece by Bruce Nauman.

Body pressure
Press as much of the front surface of your body (palms in or out, left or right cheek) against the wall as possible.

Press very hard and concentrate.

Form an image of yourself (suppose you had just stepped forward) on the opposite side of the wall pressing back against the wall very hard.

Press very hard and concentrate on the image pressing very hard.

(the image of pressing very hard)

Press your front surface and back surface toward each other and begin to ignore or block the thickness of the wall. (remove the wall)

Think how various parts of your body press against the wall; which parts touch and which do not.

Consider the parts of your back which press against the wall; press hard and feel how the front and back of your body press together.

Concentrate on the tension in the muscles, pain where bones meet, fleshy deformations that occur under pressure; consider
body hair, perspiration, odors (smells).

This may become a very erotic exercise.

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