Thursday, 18 November 2010

Tehching Hsieh -One Year Performance (1980-1981)

Tehching Hsieh's work was about 'wasting time'. He had five different year long performances, and i recently saw this one at FACT.

Although this work was produced quite a long time ago, (he retired from art in 2000) especially in comparison to many of the pieces which have been commissioned for the first time for the Biennial, it still felt very fresh and relevant to see it for the first time.

For a whole year Hsieh punched a time card, and took a photograph of himself every hour, on the hour. The time aspect had very much the same repetitive dedication as the piece i previously saw by Sachiko Abe at the 'A Foundation'.

The result was walls lined with his photographs and time cards, making it impossible to not think about a whole year being spent in this restricted way - only ever having less than an hour sleep at a time, never being able to fully commit to anything else.

I'm not sure I could ever be so dedicated to my work. This piece did really make me question how we spend our time - What is relevant? Should our goal in live be to leave some kind of mark?

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