Tino Sehgal (GB, 1976) studied both dance at the Folkwang Hogeschool in Essen as well as political economics at Humboldt University in Berlin and Essen. In recent years his ‘sculptures’ were observed at large art exhibitions like Manifesta 4 in Frankfurt (2001) and the Venice Biennale (2002).
Art, according to this young Berlin based artist, is inextricably linked with the economic concept of production, with the transformation of materials and the creating of objects. However, Sehgal does not produce tangible or physical objects and neither does he perform. His works are executed by museum attendants, actors and/or dancers. They can consist of choreographed movements, words and song or a conversation with a museum visitor. The Van Abbemuseum is presenting his first solo exhibition in combination with a collection display in the museum’s old building. Both his dance background, in which actions rather than materials are transformed, as well as his political economic training play a major role in understanding his position. The history of modern art, especially the conceptual movement of the nineteen sixties, and research by Michael Asher, Dan Graham and, later, Jeff Koons and James Coleman are a red thread running through his still early oeuvre.
Tino Sehgal does not write instructions for his works and he explicitly requests that it not be photographed. In short they are not able to be documented. The verbal instructions are executed and interpreted in Eindhoven by various room attendants. Museum visitors do not see the original, moreover there is no original. Production and reproduction are one and the same. All the titles begin with “This is…” and have the nature of an announcement or a suggestion. They emphasise how Sehgal subtly submits for discussion the traditional artwork with its encompassing eternal values. He uses the established art codes and conventions as a source material, but reinterprets them in an undeniably unique way, thereby continuously challenging the classical museum context and formulating alternative possibilities of production.
The collection display One on One will be temporary adjusted during the journal # 6 Tino Sehgal exhibition period.