‘Doing Time’: Tehching Hsieh in Conversation with Adrian Heathfield International Talk

 

In advance of his new exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2017, Taiwanese-American artist Tehching Hsieh will discuss his astounding series of lifeworks from 1978 – 1999 with five One Year Performances and a 'Thirteen Year Plan'. He will explore the concerns that led him into these long durational works of subjection. Hsieh is joined by author and curator Adrian Heathfield who will discuss his approach to Hsieh’s work, its use of time, law and the body, and its prescient relation to capitalism’s systems of control.

* The session will be conducted in English.

 

Speaker Biographies

Tehching Hsieh was born on December 31st 1950 in Nan-Chou, Taiwan. Hsieh dropped out from high school in 1967 and took up painting. After finishing his army service (1970 – 73), Hsieh had his first solo show at the gallery of the American News Bureau in Taiwan. Shortly after this solo show, Hsieh stopped painting. He made a performance action, Jump, in which he broke both of his ankles. He trained as a seaman, which he then used as a means to enter the United States. In July of 1974, Hsieh finally arrived at a small port near Philadelphia. He was an illegal immigrant in the States for fourteen years until he was granted amnesty in 1988. Starting in the late nineteen-seventies, Hsieh made five One Year Performances and a ‘Thirteen Year Plan’, inside and outside his studio in New York City. Using long durations, making art and life simultaneous, Hsieh achieved one of the most radical approaches in contemporary art. The first four One Year Performances made Hsieh a regular name in the art scene in New York; the last two pieces, intentionally retreating from the art world, set a tone of sustained invisibility. Since the millennium, released from the restriction of not showing his works during a thirteen-year period, Hsieh has exhibited his work in North and South America, Asia and Europe. Hsieh lives in Brooklyn and is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery. www.tehchinghsieh.com
 

Adrian Heathfield is a writer and curator. He co-curated Live Culture (Tate Modern 2003) and the creative research project Performance Matters (2009 – 14). He was a curatorial attaché for the Sydney Biennale (2016) and, as part of the freethought collective, was a co-director of the Bergen Assembly (2016). He is curator of Taiwan’s representation at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017. He has published extensively on contemporary performance, art, theater and dance. He is the author of Out of Now a monograph on the artist Tehching Hsieh, co-editor of Perform, Repeat, Record and editor of Live: Art and Performance. His writings have been translated into eight languages. He has worked with many artists and thinkers on critical and creative collaborations including film dialogues and performance lectures. Heathfield is Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London. www.adrianheathfield.net
 
About Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan
Founded in 1983, Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is Taiwan’s first museum of modern and contemporary art, and among one of the oldest in Asia. Venturing into its 32nd year, TFAM has dedicated itself to the development of modern art in Taiwan while staying abreast of ongoing trends in contemporary arts. It has pioneered the biennial trends for the region and overseen the operations of the Taipei Biennial since 1998 and the planning for Taiwan’s representation as a collateral event of Venice Biennale since 1995. For the past two decades, the Taiwanese art scene has witnessed a paradigm shift of the geo-political power structures within the international contemporary art community, alongside the increased mobility of global art professionals and their influence on established international exhibitions around the world. Taking this changing atmosphere into consideration, the 2017 Taiwanese nomination committee seeks to make a unique intervention in the scene of ever-expanding national pavilions and their collateral events.

About the Hong Kong Arts Centre
The relevant destination for arts and creative inspirations in Hong Kong.
 
The HKAC is a multi-arts centre that fosters artistic exchanges locally and internationally, bringing the most forward creations to Hong Kong and showcasing homegrown talents abroad. The HKAC stimulates innovation and promotes creativity. Being Hong Kong’s only independent non-profit multi-arts institution, the HKAC offers exhibitions, screenings and performances, connecting the arts of Hong Kong to the rest of the world through programmes and collaborations. Come to the HKAC to experience, appreciate, learn and be inspired by arts.