exhibition

tino sehgal
20 Oct - 10 Dec 2006

Collection presentation around the new acquisitionInstead of allowing some thing to rise up to your face dancing bruce and dan and other things (2000) by Tino Sehgal.

In 2005 the Stedelijk Museum acquired Instead of allowing some thing to rise up to your face dancing bruce and dan and other things (2000), the earliest work by Tino Sehgal (b. 1967, London). In this livework a slowly moving human figure is to be seen assuming poses on the floor that refer to positions of the human body in early films and videotapes by Bruce Nauman (Wall/Floor Positions, 1968, Tony Sinking into the Floor, Face Up and Face Down and Elke Allowing the Floor to Rise Up over Her, Face Up, both from 1973) and Dan Graham (Roll, 1970). The new acquisition, situated between sculpture, performance and installation, was reason to invite Sehgal to make a selection of other work from the collection. Sehgal regards Instead of... as a ‘floor work’ and shows it in the midst of other floor pieces from the collection, including works by Sesostris Vitullo, Carl Andre and Jeff Koons.

Tino Sehgal was trained as a choreographer and political economist. He strives to make completely immaterial art products. Sehgal works as a director of ‘situations’ in which the museum visitor sometimes literally becomes involved with the work. In collaboration with dancers, actors, ‘walk-on’ characters or museum guards he rehearses movements, behaviour or ‘conversations’ that he has implemented in a museum gallery in the presence of the public during a certain exhibition period. The meaning of the work arises from the transience of the moment, making use of the human voice, language, movement and interaction. With his temporary artworks Sehgal challenges the conventions of museum practice and poses questions about the artwork as a commercial object, intellectual property, originality, social processes, and the role of the maker. Sehgal wishes to take the dematerialisation of the art project, as conceptual art believed in it, still a step further. With him, not even a certificate of ownership is forthcoming. As Sehgal explains, ‘I still produce objects, not in the material sense of the word, but in the sense that it is a product. Instead of... is a product. It is specific, can be reproduced, and is completely immaterial. It has nothing to do with the model of production on which our civilisation is based. It exists in my head, in my body and in the bodies of the people that have seen it.’