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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerformance
 
One Year Performance 19801981 (Time Piece) (Hsieh, Tehching), 1980Grande Serate (Futuristen)
 
 
 

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second example Tehching Hsieh and his «One Year Performances» of the 1980s. His «Time Piece» from that series casts a searching spotlight on all «time-based» art forms.[2] Hsieh wanted to illustrate the experience of time, but in its purest form rather than in connection with a specific work or action. His stamina and perseverance—both physical and mental—confound our powers of imagination. And yet we believe the artist, not lastly due to the fact that the reality of the performance was verifiable. The announcement of time, place and content may have been part of the public performance, but its impact is felt in retrospect. While warranting authenticity, the media recordings (and possibly the oral accounts of those who participated) at the same time point to the fundamental difference between the artistic act and its reception. An adequate response to Hsieh's performance would be to treat it as a manual for transposing it—in whatever manner— into one's own life. That would also mean becoming the producers of our own lives.

 

Art = Life

A common interest in producing «dynamic sensations» is evident in the anti-bourgeois, provocative and situative artistic happenings ranging from the Futurist's «Grande Serate» (1910 onward) to the Dadaist's Cabaret Voltaire and the events staged by neo- Dada and Fluxus artists («Neo-Dada in der Musik,» «International Festspiele Neuester Musik»). As Umberto Boccioni's caricature of 1911 shows, the Futurists produced what we would now call a multimedia happening. They wanted visuals, sound, and multiple and parallel actions without any plot to join together to constitute an occurrence taking place «here and now» and directly involving the spectator: «[T]he spectator [must] live at the center of the painted action.»[3] The Futurist's documented affinity with the technological dynamic of industrialized society preformulated an assertion made in constantly changing guises by later movements: That art and life are inseparable in an industrial or media-based society. Contemporary art must occupy the commensurate fields and forms of action, and seek

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