When the British-German artist Tino Sehgal discusses his works, he doesn’t describe them as performances or installations, but rather “constructed situations”. The vitality and immediacy of these works radically question, redefine and expand on the concept of artistic work. Sehgal’s ephemeral pieces present innately human forms of expression – movement, language, song – in a museum environment. He transforms these expressions into the building blocks of artistic works which combine to create a unique social experience that can only be enjoyed at that moment and that place. The artist is not interested in capturing his “constructed situations” on video or with other media-based recordings; after the exhibition, his human sculptures can only be relived in the visitors’ memory. In this way Sehgal questions the economics of attentiveness upon which an artwork is based, how it is defined by its institutional frame – especially when art becomes increasingly immaterial. The intensive pursuit of connecting with the work, the audience’s physical involvement in the interaction with dancers, amateur performers and actors who perform Sehgal’s “situations” after prior instruction, remains a strong, moving experience in their memory. With the exhibition project “Tino Sehgal. The Leipzig Project”, the Museum für Bildende Künste Leipzig (MdbK) will present some of Sehgal’s best-known works for 30 days straight, including “The Kiss” (2003), “This Success, This Failure” (2006) and “This Situation” (2007). Sehgal will also be on location to develop a project specifically for Leipzig which performatively links the interior and exterior areas of the museum.
Following its run in Leipzig, the project will go on tour through Austria. Joint ventures are also planned with the Uffizi in Florence, Italy, Luma Arles in France, and joint events at the Venice Biennale and documenta 22 in Kassel. “The Leipzig Project” also includes collaborations with the international “impuls Festival” in Vienna and the “euroscene” festival of contemporary dance and theatre in Leipzig. Together with the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB), the project organisers will stage an accompanying discussion series on artistic performance, which will later be integrated into the MdbK podcast.
Artistic director: Tino Sehgal
Project manager, external: Cora Gianolla
Project manager, MdbK: Stefan Weppelmann
Exhibition: Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Leipzig: 6 Apr. – 24 Jul. 2022
Musem der bildenden Künste Leipzig
Einrichtung der Stadt Leipzig