Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Artist talk: Tehching Hsieh

I had never heard of this artist going into the talk which gave it an air of mystery and spiked my interest in what kind of art we were going to see from this artist. First thing I really noticed was that Tehchings' first language was not english. This didn't bother me at all but I knew down the line it could cause some problems when he tried to explain concepts behind his work. Tehching opened with a picture of a warrant for his arrest, seeing that he had entered the country illegally. This was one the best ways, I think, someone could have opened up an artists talk. Then he showed and explained what he was going to do for his first piece: He built a cage and declared that he was going to stay in this cage for one year. After seeing his documentation on the cage piece, it blew my mind how much determination he had. That was something I realized very soon about his work. The determination and dedication to his pieces was something I had never seen before. The aspect of time really struck me when he was talking and showing his work. An entire year is a long time and being able to do an art piece that involves being aware that the work isn't finished till that time has passed has got to have some sort of mental toll on someone. Then again he kept doing entire year pieces and was successful in all of them. Something else that fascinated me was that at the very end of his talk he showed everyone a picture of how eventually he would like all of his works displayed. He gave a distance equivalent to time. Forty feet equalled one year and everything else was derived from that equivalence. Forty feet. One year. The length doesn't seem to match up with that much time but Tehching mentioned that he viewer choses how much time they spend within the gallery space and that they ultimately choose the amount of time required to view each piece. This idea of giving time and space an equivalent is very intriguing to me. This perspective really has so many ways it can be interpreted and that is something that really left me in awe when I walked out of that talk. The determination, the concepts, and overall the relativity of time.

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