Thursday, May 7, 2015

Artist's Lecture: Tehching Hsieh

            Tehching Hsieh is a New York- based performance artist originally from southern Taiwan. He dropped out of high school to become a painter, and not long after his first art show at the gallery of the American News Bureau in Taiwan, he stopped painting altogether and started to create performance art.
He is most well known for his “One Year Performances,” which are yearlong performances known for being physically and mentally taxing in response to the conformity of industrial labor and capitalism. His work, “One Year Performance (1980-1981)” shows the actual evidence of labor he went through. He collected documentary evidence of said work: 365 punch cards, 365 filmstrips, the plain grey uniform he wore, and a 16mm movie he made, “compressing the year into six minutes, witness statements attesting to his strict routine and the time clock.”

I think Hsieh’s devotion to showing the effects that capitalism has on people who are slaves to the system is interesting and even admirable. I know that his art doesn’t just cover this subject, but it really shows the limits of the human body and what it can do given certain circumstances.

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