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Tino Sehgal to Create a Special Mise-en-Scene at the Guggenheim

NEW YORK, NY.- From January 29 to March 10, 2010, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present Tino Sehgal, an exhibition in which London-born, Berlin-based artist will create a special mise-en-scène in the museum that engages visitors in both spectatorship and direct participation. Tino Sehgal is organized by Nancy Spector, Chief Curator, with Nat Trotman, Associate Curator, and Katherine Brinson, Assistant Curator.

Tino Sehgal (b. 1976) constructs situations that defy the traditional context of museum and gallery environments, focusing on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience rather than on material objects. Relying exclusively on the human voice, bodily movement, and social interaction, Sehgal’s works nevertheless fulfill all the parameters of a traditional artwork with the exception of its inanimate materiality. They are presented continuously during the operating hours of the museum, they can be bought and sold, and, by virtue of being repeatable, they can persist over time.

The artist’s singular practice has been shaped by his formative studies in dance and economics, while using the museum and related institutions—galleries, art fairs, and private collections—as its arena. He considers visual art to be a microcosm of our social reality, as both center on identical economic conditions: the production of goods and their subsequent circulation. Sehgal seeks to reconfigure these conditions by producing meaning and value through a transformation of actions rather than solid materials. Consequently, throughout his works he explores social processes, cultural conventions, and the allocation of roles, thereby not only redefining art production but also reconsidering fundamental values of our social system.

The fact that Sehgal’s works are produced in this way elicits a different kind of viewer: a visitor is no longer only a passive spectator, but one who bears a responsibility to shape and even to contribute to the actual realization of the piece. The work may ask visitors what they think, but, more importantly, it underscores an individual’s own agency in the museum environment. Regardless of whether they call for direct action or address the viewer in a more subtle sense, Sehgal’s works always evoke questions of responsibility within an interpersonal relationship.

Presented as part of the Guggenheim's 50th Anniversary celebrations, Sehgal's exhibition occupies the entire Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda. In dialogue with Wright’s all-encompassing aesthetic, Sehgal fills the rotunda floor and the spiraling ramps with two major works that encapsulate the poles of his practice: conversational and choreographic. To create the context for the exhibition, the entirety of the Guggenheim rotunda is cleared of art objects for the first time in the museum’s history.

On view in the adjacent Annex Level galleries will be selections from the Guggenheim’s permanent collection; the "Deutsche Bank Series" at the Guggenheim, "Anish Kapoor: Memory"; "Paris and the Avant-Garde: Modern Masters from the Guggenheim Collection"; and "Contemplating the Void: Interventions" in the Guggenheim Museum, which opens on February 12, 2010.

Tino Sehgal lives and works in Berlin. He is the youngest artist to present a solo exhibition in the Guggenheim rotunda. Recent solo exhibitions include presentations at the Kunsthaus Zürich and Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2009); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009 and 2007–08); Nicola Trussardi Foundation, Villa Reale, Milan (2008); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2007–08); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2006); and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2007, 2006, and 2005).

Sehgal was short-listed as one of six finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2006, was a finalist for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst 2007, and represented Germany for the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Group exhibitions include "After Nature", New Museum, New York (2008); "Yokohama Triennale", Yokohama, Japan (2008); "9th Biennale de Lyon", Lyon, France (2007); "Manchester International Festival 2007": Il Tempo del Postino, Manchester, England (2007); "Tate Triennial" 2006, Tate Britain, London (2006); "Von Mäusen und Menschen" (Of Mice and Men), "4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art", Berlin (2006); "Yokohama Triennale", Yokohama, Japan (2005); "Ailleurs, ici", Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris/ARC at the Couvent de Cordeliers, Paris (2004); "Utopia Station, 50th International Art Exhibition", Venice Biennale, Italy (2003); "Manifesta 4", Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2002); "I Promise, It’s Political", Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2002); "I’ll Never Let You Go", Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2001).

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | Tino Sehgal | Nancy Spector | Nat Trotman | Katherine Brinson |

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