The artist actively avoids anything which could be seen as an object in relation to his pieces, either of the piece, or any physical objects left over from the event. Similarly there is little or no record of the work except what visitors take away with them in their memories. The works rely almost exclusively on memory for their extended ‘life’ beyond the actual event in the original site. These may then be committed to paper or other forms of record by reviewers or commentators, but essentially the works live on only by the mediation of another, the audience that experienced them.

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Tino Sehgal – Selected works

The following is a selected list of the artist’s works with short descriptions:

  • 2000 Instead of allowing something to rise up to your face dancing bruce and dan and other things
    An interpreter writhing on the gallery floor.
  • 2001 This is good
    “… gallery guards singing … thrashing their arms about in circles while jumping from leg to leg.” (Bishop, 2005)
  • 2002 This is propaganda
    “… a brief, ghostly recording by an unidentified woman singing “this is propaganda, you know, you know” (from a pop song); the recording is triggered whenever someone passes by an unmarked spot in the room.” (Gabri, 2003)
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I will look at two essays by Agamben published in the early ‘90s that centre on the term ‘gesture.’ Kommerell, or On Gesture (1991) and Notes on Gesture (1992) are both based on what appear to be the same set of notes, with duplicate passages in both texts, however the overriding subject matter changes in each case. The former discusses the writings of the German literary critic Max Kommerell and his relationship to the circle of Stefan George. Gesture in this case is discussed in a literary setting. The latter is a less polished set of notes outlining the development of the scientific study of gesture and the role cinema would play in its understanding, beginning with Gilles de la Tourette and touching in only a few pages on Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, Deleuze’s theory of cinema, Aristotle, Edward Muybridge and a number of other writers.

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