Tino Sehgal at Art Gallery NSW

tino sehgal

Internationally acclaimed artist Tino Sehgal has risen to prominence for his innovative works that consist purely of live encounters between people in museums. His ”˜constructed situations’ represent the cutting edge of contemporary art practice. They take a fresh approach to gallery spaces and, in turn, demand a new way of looking at and engaging with art. His works are unusual that the artist insists that they are documented only in the viewer’s memory. He describes his works as ”˜constructed situations’ through movement, voice, language and interaction as he pieces choregrapghers that are regularly staged in museums or galleries, and continuously executed by trained individuals he refers to as “interpreters”  for the entire duration of a show.

The artwork is the constructed situation which arises between the audience and the interpreters of the piece. Sehgal’s pieces have been shown at the Guggenheim, New York; Tate Modern, London; and Documenta, Kassel; and, in 2013, at the  13 Rooms  project in Sydney, presented by Kaldor Public Art Projects.

His works can be thought of as living sculptures in which interpreters sing, dance and start conversations according to specific instructions. The works cannot be photographed ”“ they must be experienced to be understood.

Says Tino in an interview, “I still think body-to body-transmission or an oral tradition, even though it doesn’t have a high currency in our thinking, is the most powerful and precise mode of passing things on.”

Described as  as ”˜dematerailist’ or ”˜immetrialist’ by some an artist who bans photographing his works, Tino says, “I do think that human interaction is the most complex ”˜site’. No technology can live up to the complexities of a human being,” he says. “Just think about the trouble of creating artificial intelligence – people in the late 20th century were far more optimistic that it could work. It shows how complex the human mind and soul, if you so wish, is.”

One of Tino’s work,  Kiss, consisted of two people entwined in a long, slow-motion embrace. They gradually moved through various poses, many based on artists from Rodin and Brancusi to Jeff Koons. The work continuously evolved for the duration of its display.

Tino Sehgal’s This is so contemporary  ”“ which was first presented at the 2005 Venice Biennale ”“ has similar parameters – The 29th Kaldor Public Art Project is presented in association with the Art Gallery of NSW from 6 Feb ”“ 23 Feb 2014. Admission Is free and location is Entrance Court.

Public Lecture: Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator of International Art, Tate Gallery, London and Director of the 2014 Gwangju Biennale draws on her experience working with Sehgal and curating his project in Tate’s Unilever Series to discuss his practice and its place within the context of live art. A lively Q & A will follow Jessica’s presentation. This is a free talk that requires bookings due to limited capacity and it will be presented on Monday 10 February from 1pm until 2pm at The Art Gallery of NSW.

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