Tony Sinking into the Floor, Face Up, and Face Down

1973, 60 min, color, sound

In this videotape, a companion to Elke..., the actor's task was to imagine himself sinking into the floor. The resulting images portray him stretched out on the floor, sometimes face up, sometimes face down, in a series of dissolves. Although the mental component of the exercise is not captured, Nauman has recounted the highly charged atmosphere of the shooting session: "He was lying on his back and after about fifteen minutes he started choking and coughing. He sat up and said, 'I did it too fast and scared myself.' He didn't want to do it again, but did it anyway. At another time we were watching his hand through the camera and it was behaving very strangely. We asked him about it later and he said that he was afraid to move his hand because he thought he might lose his molecules."


In exhibition, this title must be presented on a monitor. Please contact the EAI office for recommendations of monitor types. Sound must be played through speakers. Headphones are not permitted.