A Gig For Me

“Tino Seghal makes what he calls ‘constructed situations.’  He uses the raw materials of voice, language, and movement to build pieces of art.  For ‘This Progress’ (2010), he filled the rotunda of the Guggenheim with a corps of ‘interpreters’ –– children, teen-agers, baby boomers, octogenarians –– who, according to a set of rules devised by Sehgal, engaged each visitor in a conversation, delivering him to progressively older interlocutors as he spiralled up the museum’s ramp.  The piece, which made intimates of strangers, was exhilarating.  Visitors shared such confidences as, ‘The smaller the diamond, the better the marriage’ and ‘Mr. Hitler ruined my childhood.’  Some of them left in tears.  (The critic Jerry Saltz pointed out that it was the only work of art he’d ever encountered that could cry back.)  ‘This Progress’ reflected Sehgal’s desire to redefine art as the transformation of actions rather than of things.  ‘What my work is about is, Can something that is not an inanimate object be considered valuable?’ Sehgal said recently.  He is, in a sense, an architect of interaction.  His works are collaborations, new builds on human turfs.”

— New Yorker article entitled “The Question Artist”

So now I have to write to Tino Sehgal and offer myself up as an “interpreter” (for a nominal fee) for his next NYC-based project.  Here’s to hoping I have more luck with him than I did with Ms. Abramovic.

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