One Hundred Live and Die

Title of ArtworkOne Hundred Live and Die
Year of Origin1984
    299.7 × 335.9 × 53.3 cm
    Neonröhren mit Klarglasröhren auf Metall
Collaboration/Shared Production/Researchn/a
    Collection Benesse Holdings, Inc. / Benesse House Museum, Naoshima
Medium/Type of Artwork
Light Source
Light-Optical Factors
History of a work
1984YoutubeNaoshimaBenesse House, NaoshimaLink

One Hundred Live and Dieis what many consider to be Nauman’s masterpiece. Sad and hopeful, One Hundredflickers through each possible flippant, mundane, and tragic way to live or die in a blaze of neon exuberance. Each phrase (“LAUNCH AND LIVE,” “FALL AND DIE,” “SPIT AND LIVE,” etc.) light the room with its orange, blue, white, or whatever color it may be. It paints the room and provides a surprisingly profound commentary on life, telling a story with each phrase, reiterating just how fucked up life can be (which may elicit tears, laughter, or blank stares). In the end, One Hundred resonates with all one hundred phrases lit, blindingly beautiful and a little overwhelming. One Hundred Live and Die, like all Nauman work, play with neon and text, a physical space, and human emotion. They are absolutely beautiful and undoubtedly modern. Nauman is definitely an artist whose work you should do your damnedest to see: they are somber, they are fun, and they are inconic.

Special features artworkn/a