Tino Sehgal, Kiss (performance), 2006 4th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Tino Sehgal, Situations, a Mise en Scéne for Spectators and Participants

Tino Sehgal, This Is So Contemporary, 2005, Venice Biennale, Video Still.

Tino Sehgal, This Is So Contemporary, 2005, Venice Biennale, Video Still.

Tino Sehgal, Kiss (performance), 2006 4th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Tino Sehgal performance at International Festival in Berlin.


Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York
Tino Sehgal
January 29-March 10, 2010

Tino Sehgal (b. 1976, London) constructs situations that defy the traditional context of museum and gallery environments, focusing on fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience rather than 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.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Tino Sehgal, an exhibition in which London-born, Berlin-based artist creates 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.

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 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 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).

Tino Sehgal and participants in a run-through of This Success/This Failure, 2007, ICA, London.

Tino Sehgal, This Is So Contemporary, 2005, Venice Biennale, Rehearsal.

Tino Sehgal, This Success or This Failure, 2007 (ICA, London), Tino Sehgal.

Tino Sehgal, Market Economy and Situations of Politics and Dance

Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Magasin 3, floor 1, elevator 4
+ 46 8 545 680 40
Tino Sehgal
March 6-May 4, 2008

At the Venice Bienniale Tino Sehgal showed work where the exhibition guards suddenly start singing and dancing around the audience. In New York he recently had a critically acclaimed solo exhibition in which a group of people involve the audience in a discussion on market economy, and at the 2006 Berlin Bienniale he had a couple slowly moving around on the floor, embracing in a passionate kiss.

There are no objects in Tino Sehgal’s work. As a visitor to the exhibition you meet different people in the exhibition spaces. They have been given instructions by Sehgal, which they interpret. The artwork is the situation that arises between the visitor and the interpreter who performs certain movements or says certain things.


Sehgal has a background in political economy and dance. Both of these fields of interest have strongly influenced his work. His point of departure as an artist is the fact that humans are using up much more of the planet’s resources than what is necessary for survival. In his work he challenges the notion of production, both artistically and economically, by creating immaterial ways of generating meaning. The creation of value in Tino Sehgal’s work is not linked to an economy based on fossil resources. Nothing material is produced, not even in the form of documentation. His artwork exists only in the moment in which it is experienced, and as a verbal narrative when recounted to others. He makes a point of the fact that this is not a performance, which historically has been a reaction to the art market. Instead Sehgal creates what he calls “constructed situations”, a form which strives for its own place among established artistic media. These immaterial works challenge the traditional museum context while at the same time making a point of working within it.

Tino Sehgal's thinking even extends to the production around the exhibition and hence we will not be producing material such as posters or sending out printed invitation cards.

The exhibition is curated by Richard Julin.

Tino Sehgal and interpreters at Frieze Art Fair, 2004, Photo © David Weightman 2004.