Tino Sehgal


Tino Sehgal

07/04 — 24/07/2022

No images, no photos, no record - in Sehgal's works, it is the moment and the embodied experience that count.
No images, no photos, no record - in Sehgal's works, it is the moment and the embodied experience that count.

That people engage in action in museums is an objective of quite recent times. It belongs to an exploratory movement of museums and exhibitions of finding alternative formats for collecting and showing art. For this purpose, visitors’ involvement plays an increasingly important role. Art spaces are becoming experimental places where impulses from the public are taken up and sometimes even passed on to the visitors. Instead of only staging interpretations, the museum takes a step back and places art in new contexts beyond its traditional places.

Tino Sehgal’s art is particularly well suited for underlining this new perspective of the museum as an event-ful place, for the artist shows that human situations can be interpreted in pictures, without involving material objects or works of art. Tino Sehgal pursues and visualises this approach with constructed situations (Sehgal) in which visitors become participants, directly or indirectly, inevitably reflecting their own role and position. With his work, Sehgal asks how art can become personal.

Due to the special ways they are realised, Sehgal’s works are situated across media between visual art, dance and song. His works are enacted by interpreters in accordance with his choreography and instructions. These interpreters are for the most part locally based professional dancers and thinkers as well as students from Leipzig. Sehgal’s work consistently gets by without objects. It essentially eludes the conventional setting in which works of art always appear formed from matter. Instead of the perception of material objects there is the experience of situational, human interactions that can take shape as movements, play, dance or even as discussion and conversation. Precisely because his interest is to direct the focus entirely on this embodied experience of the moment in all its complexity, he dispenses with the usual media of documentation or publication.

As a consequence of the fact that these sometimes elementary, then again artistic-virtuoso behaviours, far removed from the world of things, are constructed in the museum space in front of and with the audience and take place as art, is that the place itself – the museum – comes alive in a new way.

The work THIS SUCCESS/THIS FAILURE focuses on the traditionally important work with schools at the MdbK, as the work will be realised with numerous students from Leipzig. For this, the large museum terrace is transformed into a playground for children, who are allowed to play freely there.

THIS SITUATION takes the form of a conversation in which central themes of our time - such as the question of the good life, the role of work or the relationship to the earth - are discussed. Visitors are invited to the library terrace of the MdbK to reflect on values and value change in the historical process. Fundamental premises of our thinking and acting in the modern age are to be put into perspective anew today.

The rhythmic location of the works in the entire house is also achieved through other works, including THIS JOY, which Sehgal conceived in the Beethoven Year 2020. For this, the artist rewrote music for voice and choreographed the work. The works INSTEAD OF ALLOWING SOME THING TO RISE UP TO YOUR FACE DANCING BRUCE AND DAN AND OTHER THINGS and centrally YET UNTITLED also enrich the presentation. Through the interplay of the works, it is possible to experience at least one work at any given time during the opening hours.

The presentation is taking place on the interior terraces of the MdbK, which shape the architecture of the museum. These spaces are not conceived as collection areas in the true sense, nor are they purely transitory sites. Rather, they act like architectural pauses in the series of cabinets, and they connect – also acoustically – the separate levels of the building. As characteristic connecting points in the building, they are thus exposed positions predestined to accommodate Sehgal’s works and to connect them conceptually. Because Sehgal is concerned with focusing on the embodied experience of the moment in all its complexity, he dispenses with the usual media of documentation or publication - and asks that no photographs or other recordings be taken of the constructed sitautions.