"What my work is about is, can something that is not an inanimate object be considered valuable?" - Tino Sehgal
The New Yorker (subscription required) continues to perform an outstanding service conducting long form investigations into the practices of exemplary contemporary artists. Recent articles noted here include Sarah Sze and Christian Marclay.
The August 6th issue profiles Tino Sehgal. Up until his current work "This Variation" at Documenta, 13 in Kassel, Germany - which I hope to attend before month's end - and "These Associations" which just opened at the Tate, he had the critical community dueling vociferously over whether this emperor had any clothes. The controversy, while not exhausted, has diminished considerably.
I had the opportunity to experience "This Progress" (2010) at the Guggenheim and walked away marveling at the entirely empty rotunda - nothing but crisp white walls devoid of art - and mystified by the work itself whereby seemingly random, though progressively older individuals, asked visitors "what is progress?" as they perambulated the rotunda .
The encounter was shocking and I reflexively resorted to sarcasm and mockery in my replies; a form of self-defense. The joke would be on them, not me. A shortsighted mistake in retrospect.
"Because it draws from many disciplines, Sehgal's work is difficult to define. His term "constructed situations" comes from the French theorist Guy Debord's 1957 Manifesto "Report on the Construction of Situations," which called for the artist to generate moments that would jolt the spectator out of passivity, rendering him the co-creator of a less mediocre life."
Hmm, I'm still decoding.