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Title: This progressive production: Agency, durability and keeping it contemporary
Authors: Richards, M
Keywords: Tino Sehgal;Conceptual art;Authorial control;Constructed situations;Live artworks
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 17(5), 71-77, 2012
Abstract: Tino Sehgal is a Berlin based Anglo-German conceptual artist who creates ‘constructed situations’; a process whereby he hands over the delivery of the work to selected ‘interpreters’ or in the case of the Tate Modern (London) 2012 commission, to ‘participants’, who he rehearses and supports to carry out the instructions which embody his vision. Each time a Sehgal work is presented, it is animated by those he has asked and paid to participate, for an audience who are often called upon to engage with a question or conversation. In taking this approach, Sehgal explicitly rejects the idea of the artist as a making of objects. However, unlike the sorts of transitory and ephemeral works of art created in the 1970s which were a deliberate challenge to the commodification of art and by extension the artist, Sehgal constructs situations for other reasons which will be explored in this article. This article will also start to consider how dependence on interpreters or participants extends, transforms or circumscribes authorial control. It will begin to consider the extent to which the construction of live artworks that potentially exceed the life time and certainly the physical presence of the maker represent long-term duration. Does such an approach extend the field of influence and the potential for lasting impact? What impact does duration have on the re-enactor/interpreters capacity to comply with the artist's instructions and what investment do they have in embodying another's artistic vision, particularly if they are required to do so for an extended period of time?
Description: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 17(5), 71-77, 2012 [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
ISSN: 1469-9990
Appears in Collections:Theatre
Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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