January 31, 2010

Tino Sehgal at the Guggenheim

A few weeks ago I read an article in the NYTimes magazine about Tino Sehgal. It hinted at the work he was about to unveil at the Guggenheim museum in New York. As soon as I finished reading the article, I started counting down the days until the show was to open. I had wanted to go on the first day. I settled for the second.

Sehgal does not allow his work to be photographed. To allow viewers to experience the work for themselves, I won't describe the major work on view in this post (though the NYTimes article describes another piece, also on view, which put me in the mind of Bill Viola's work). I will, however, say it was one of the best things I've experienced at the museum, and I was able to see the museum in a way in which I never have before. Those readers of who are unable to come to New York to view the work in person can email me to discuss the piece. To give some context forSehgal's art, the Guggenheim writes:

Tino Sehgal constructs situations that defy the traditional context of museum and gallery environments, focusing on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience rather than on material objects. Relying exclusively on the human voice, bodily movement, and social interaction, Sehgal's works nevertheless fulfill all the parameters of a traditional artwork with the exception of its inanimate materiality.

If anyone else has gone to see the show, please leave a comment or email. I'd love to discuss the work with others and to read reactions to the piece.

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