The Return of Bruce Nauman`s Bouncing Balls

Francesco Vezzoli

In cooperation with a gentleman – and a friend of the gallery, Avlskarl Gallery is very proud to present Francesco Vezzoli and his video.

Francesco Vezzoli’s work explores contemporary culture and over the past decade he has become famous for works that reinvents kitsch and examines celebrity culture. His interest in celebrities as cultural icons in collective thought today marks his entire body of work.

Vezzoli often addresses continuing preoccupations with the elemental ambiguity of truth, the seductive power of forms and language as well as the precarious dynamics of human identity, concerning desire, seduction and sexual habits. And with his engagement in working with various media, such as advertising, video and film, Vezzoli strives to prevent his work from being associated with a unique form or style.

For The Return of Bruce Nauman’s Bouncing Balls, Vezzoli (2006) casted porn star Brad Rock to bend over from behind while swinging his large ball sack. The setting is a romantic blueskyed landscape, filled with the sound of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. The video is conceived as an ironic tribute to the contemporary American artist Bruce Nauman (b. 1941), among others his work Bouncing Balls (1969), which is a close-up video of Nauman bouncing his testicles with one hand. This video was itself an ironic reference to Nauman’s earlier film Bouncing Two Balls Between the Floor and Ceiling with Changing Rythms (1967-68), in which he bounced rubber balls.

The Return of Bruce Nauman’s Bouncing Balls has been described as a glamorous and satirical twist on Hollywood techniques. However the video can also be regarded as an exploration of the body’s potential in art as well a comment on contemporary visual culture and the desire for “the bigger the better”.

The Italian artist and filmmaker Francesco Vezzoli was born in 1971 in Brescia, Italy. He studied at the Central St. Martins School of Art in London and currently lives and works in Milan. Vezzoli’s work has been exhibited at many museums and institutions including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2002); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2004/2005); Tate Modern, London (2006); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2009); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2009-10) and MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome (2013).