The Berlin-based artist’s largest presentation in Asia to date questions fundamental assumptions about material value, social convention, and the aesthetics of daily life.
Tino Sehgal (b. London, 1976) creates artworks out of the interactions and exchanges that constitute daily social life. With its game-like quality, Sehgal’s work invites visitors into unfamiliar situations that shift the parameters of the traditional exhibition. Through these encounters, the Berlin-based artist asks the museum visitor to reflect upon their participation in the landscape of value and meaning that comprises their everyday. These questions take on a particular resonance in China, a nation that has only recently shifted from an economy of scarcity to one of affluence. Once a society reaches a certain level of material comfort, what more do its members desire? Using the art museum as a space to inspire dialogue and reflection, Sehgal’s open-ended artworks provide the scaffolding by which visitors might engage these questions. Their interaction with the piece becomes a central component of its meaning, with no two people having the same experience. The result is a series of exchanges, both mass-produced and personalized, that touch upon philosophical, political, and economic issues—variously questioning the social conventions that underpin our daily existence.
Tino Sehgal’s exhibition at UCCA will be his largest and most comprehensive in Asia to date, presenting works that span the continuum of his artistic practice—from the choreographic to the discursive. Issuing from Sehgal’s dramaturgical framing and relying only on movement, language, and social interaction, his artworks are entirely immaterial, divorced even from the convention that they be photographically or filmically documented. With a background in political economy as well as in dance, Sehgal is ultimately interested in the possibility of creating something of value without introducing more objects into a world already flooded with them. Constructed of movement and conversation, Sehgal’s work can, nonetheless, exist and circulate as a commodity that can be bought, sold, and exhibited, and is, by virtue of its reliance on traditional forms of remembrance, remarkably durable.
About the artist
Tino Sehgal was born in London in 1976 and now resides in Berlin. His artwork takes the form of “constructed situations,” in which one or more people stage live works within the exhibition space according to the artist’s directions. He is the youngest person ever to represent Germany in the Venice Biennale in 2005 as well as the youngest person to be given a solo show in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010). Other solo exhibitions include Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2004); Fundacao Serralves, Porto (2005); ICA London (2005, 2006, 2007); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2006); Kunstverein Hamburg (2006); MMK Frankfurt (2007); Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2007); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2007); Villa Reale, Milan (2008), and Magasin 3, Stockholm (2008); Kunsthaus Zürich and Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2009); Kunsternes Hus, Oslo (2011); Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Montreal (2013), and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013). His work was also included in the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005); the Tate Triennial, London (2006); the Lyon Biennale, France (2007); and Documenta 13, Kassel (2012). In 2012, he was commissioned by the Tate Modern for its annual Unilever Series exhibition, the first live work since the series began in 2000. Sehgal won the Golden Lion award at the 2013 Venice Biennale. In the same year, he was selected as one of four finalists for the Turner Prize, the winner to be announced in December.
About the curators
The exhibition is co-curated by Paula Tsai and Biljana Ciric. Paula Tsai is Curator at UCCA, where she has worked on over 40 exhibitions. Biljana Ciric is a Shanghai-based independent curator who has previously presented Tino Sehgal’s work in China. The exhibition is produced by Louise Höjer and Descha Daemgen, who are longstanding collaborators of Tino Sehgal’s.
About the exhibition
Duration: 2013.09.27 to 2013.11.17
Venue: Great Hall, UCCA
Courtesy of the artist and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, for further information please visit ucca.org.cn.