• Vincent van Gerven Oei deposited Straight Innocence on Humanities Commons 2 weeks ago

    On a sunny Monday afternoon I met with P. to visit the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.[1] A month prior, the overview exhibition of Bruce Nauman, produced in collaboration with the Tate Modern, had opened, and we were curious to visit it. Nauman’s work, in particular Seven Figures (1985), which is in the Stedelijk’s collection, had been formative in my youth as I discovered my own queerness. I kept a postcard – most likely purloined from the museum shop – hidden in a stack of erotic materials at the bottom of a drawer. Seven Figures is also the main work featured on the exhibition catalog[2] and the museum website: “[Nauman’s] interest in ambiguity and shades of meaning relates to everyday human experience, where certainty is not always guaranteed.”[3]