News — 15 Jun 2017

Throughout 2015, the Stedelijk featured a special exhibition of live work by German-British artist Tino Sehgal. Unfolding over a twelve-month period, the exhibition comprised sixteen ‘chapters’, presenting a different work each month. The concept was devised by Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf and curator Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen.

The jury, which consisted of Edo Dijksterhuis (Parool), Laura van Grinsven (Metropolis M) and Joke de Wolf (Trouw), praises the Stedelijk for a unique presentation that made it possible for all kinds of people to encounter the live art of Tino Sehgal. ‘By staging this survey, the Stedelijk helped performance shed its elitist image for good.’ The jury acknowledges the extraordinary effort the museum poured into the project, which involved a lengthy and intimate collaboration with the artist and months of non-stop auditions, rehearsals and performances. The critics commended the Stedelijk for what they call an ‘exceptional’ investment in terms of both organization and resources.

The Stedelijk also devised a radically new exhibition format when developing the project. Staging a survey of live work poses a distinct set of challenges. After all, it’s a far cry from mounting a display of paintings. The presentation concept – to program a different work each month throughout an entire year, in spaces dotted about the museum – afforded visitors unusual insights into the artist’s oeuvre. The Stedelijk was also able to share its own experiences and knowledge when Tino went on to use the format at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

A Year at the Stedelijk: Tino Sehgal transformed 2015 into an exceptional year. The works were interpreted by children, adults, dancers, economists and homeless people. Visitors were amazed, fascinated and at times slightly uncomfortable. Museum-goers spoke to the interpreters, or joined in the dance. Some returned every month, even daily. Or appeared on the last performance day to bid farewell. The NRC called the survey ‘a brilliant move’ and Artforum ranked it among the best performance art of the year.

Watch the clip made by a fan who came almost every day.

Read the full jury report here.
The AICA art critics will now deliberate. The results will be announced in September. Other nominated projects are the Jeroen Bosch exhibition at the Noordbrabants Museum and : gerlach en koop at the Bonnefantenmuseum.