Political Torture In Bruce Nauman's South American Triangle

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Bruce Nauman’s, South American Triangle, employs political torture in a sinister and eerie way, yet very plainly. In the United States, Nauman created the sculpture in the year 1981 using just two mediums: steel and iron. He was influenced and inspired by Jacob Timmerman’s book, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, to make the fine art. The book was about Timmerman’s “account of how the Argentine military imprisoned and tortured” him (Green). In this way, Nauman created South American Triangle as a sort of “monument to the victims of torture in Argentina” (Sandqvist). Nauman created the sculpture by using the technique called assemblage to bring together “individual objects to form a larger whole” (Sayre, 2013, p. 309). He utilized the materials steel and iron. The steel was utilized to create the three…show more content…
In the artwork, the straight and perfectly linear lines employ rationality and order. It gives the sculpture the feeling that the torture implied from the chair is rational, correct, and justified. The chair no longer becomes a simple physical chair, but a symbol of a tortured victim. The shape formed from the steel beams forms an equilateral triangle. It helps enclose the space inside the steel beams to make it seem as the chair is trapped and dead. It also helps emphasize the viewer’s attention to the center of the scene, the overturned chair, to draw the viewer’s attention. While, Nauman did not incorporate any cool or warm colors in this artwork, the color gray is used. Gray is usually associated as a dull and depressing color, however, Nauman incorporates a dark gray to show strict seriousness to the content it embraces. The darker value transmits an ominous mystery to it, that is usually associated with black, but with less darkness. Thus, contributing to the artwork’s somber

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