Artist Presentation & Panel Discussion
Tehching Hsieh is an artist who uses his own life as his means of expression. ‘His work consists of five One Year Performances, done between the years of 1978 and 1986, and Earth, a thirteen-year performance that stretched from the end of 1986 to the end of 1999. Each of these performances involves a particular vow, a particular constraint, and a particular mode of being, (these have included living in a cage, punching a time clock every hour and staying out of doors, each for an entire year) Each of them is meticulously documented in a manner appropriate to its content. And, although Hsieh never explicitly states his rationales for his pieces, each of them implicitly raises profound, difficult questions about life and art and being, and about what it means to live in the world we live in.’ From Performing Life: The Work of Tehching Hsieh, by Steven Shaviro. First UK presentation by New York-based performance artist, Tehching Hsieh. Tehching Hsieh was born in Tawain and is based in New York. His recently completed DVD “One Year Performance” Art Documents 1978-1999″, will also be on display. for further background and images: www.one-year-performance.com
Life as Art or Performance Art as Fashion Statement ?
“For those of us who feel dedicated to making art – Hsieh’s resolve and determination to repeatedly make work of such extreme duration challenges our very defenition of commitment, the word duration, and is a truly humbling experience to witness” – Mike Stubbs
A round table discussion organised and chaired by artist and programmer Mike Stubbs. Panelists include critic and writer John Slyce, artist and disablity activist Ann Whitehurst, performance artist & writer Roddy Hunter and artist Jemima Stehli.
In the context of Teching Hsieh’s performances of extreme duration, demonstrating endurance in such a fundamental way, how do we as people value time? If artists turn life into art and occassionally turn entire aspects of there lives into art (Hsieh and Whitehurst), what does that make of a contemporary art practice which increasingly denies the authentic and the meaningful ? Are art, action and performance under threat from a new generation who don’t seem to care? Are media specifity and protectionist practice caving in under market forces, connectivity and cheaper technology? As visual artists increasingly make performance and media art, has radical subversion been subverted ? Has time based work been commodified ? Is performance art fashion ?
Mike Stubbs has won many awards for his short films and was included in a performance art retrospective screening at the Tate Gallery last year. He is Senior Research Resident at the School of Television Imageing at Dundee University. He is the ex-Director of Hull Time Based Arts and the ROOT Festival.
Ann Whitehurst is one of the UK’s leading multi-media artists and is also a theorist and thinker of great imagination, who challenges the various axioms of contemporary thought on otherness and difference. Ann Whitehurst, fullpainly alive, creates through her art work and her perceptions a milieu of understanding and threat to the hegemonies of the fictive dramas of normalcy. “Ann Whitehurst is at the heart of www.outside-centre.org.uk; an agency which seeks to explore, instigate and challenge you; a challenge only ‘I’ (the reader of this text) you can benefit from, which is for your own good and one you will almost definitely reject at an immeasurable cost to yourself. Such is life?” -Dr. Paul Darke
John Slyce is a writer and critic based in London. He writes regularly in Art/Text, Flash Art, Dazed & Confused, Art Monthly, and is a contributing editor to Dpict magazine.
Roddy Hunter has presented performances and performance/installations (installactions) throughout Europe, North America and Asia; delivered lectures, papers and manifestos publicly; had his original research in the field of cross-art form practice published; and curated and co-ordinated projects inter-regionally since 1989. He was an active member of Hull Time Based Arts, Kingston-upon-Hull from 1994-1998. He is, with Julie BACON, co-Consul General for the Nomad Territories in England. He holds an MA (Contemporary Arts) from the Nottingham Trent University, England. He lives currently in Totnes, England where he is Associate Director: Visual Performance and a funded researcher at Dartington College of Arts. “While some of his manifestos left me cold, I did feel I’d experienced something important, as if the performance’s long duration allowed Hunter’s lived creative energy to become so concentrated it was volatile, and maybe even revolutionary.” (Rebecca Todd, Toronto Eye Magazine – 06.10.99)
Jemima Stehli is a London-based artist who has a background in performance and whose current practice employs performance within the frame of photography. She holds both BA & MA from Goldsmiths College and has exhibited internationally.