A few weeks ago, Decider sent three real clowns to watch Bruce Nauman’s installation Clown Torture at the Art Institute. The clowns, they were bemused. One reacted thusly:

“It’s all self-inflicted,” Williams says of the tortured clowns. “I can understand that most people can repeat themselves and put themselves in compromising positions. I think that’s common to the human condition. But this makes me sad. I don’t relate to the clown. It’s sad that he’s doing that to himself. This exhibit as a whole makes me sad because this is what scares people. It makes it hard for me.”

If you haven’t already read this, I recommend you do so. Gaining insight into the inner psyche of professional clowns is never a waste of time. Poor clowns. (Via Art21 blog).

Still from Clown Torture by Bruce Naumann

Still from Clown Torture by Bruce Nauman

Claudine Isé

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a writer and curator for the past decade, and currently serves as the Editor of the Art21 Blog. Claudine regularly writes for Artforum.com and Chicago magazine, and has also worked as an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. Before moving to Chicago in 2008, she worked at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH as associate curator of exhibitions, and at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as assistant curator of contemporary art, where she curated a number of Hammer Projects. She has Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.