Andrew Cummings reports on a talk by Tehching Hsieh.
One Year Performance
Time Clock involved punching a time clock every hour for a year.
Physically demanding year-long immersive art.
Challenging the limit of possibility in terms of endurance
There is often a disconnect between performance and its representation in text, photography and art. How can you possibly write about punching a time clock every hour for a year to the same degree as experiencing it?
Also when you’re looking at someone’s life works over say 30 years, how do you summarise that? Or put together one exhibition? in other words, the task of translating time into space.
His works are about passing time. Time Clock and Outdoor Piece.
Amelia Groom writes – the 133 times that Hsieh failed to punch the clock out of a possible 8,760 are a vital component of the work as they highlight the conflict between corporeal time – the time of circadian rhythms, for example – and clock time. And though the time-lapsed film of the performance (a stop-action record made up of the 8,267 photograms taken when Hsieh did punch the clock) condenses the time of the 365-day performance into a six-minute film, it also registers an otherwise barely detectable corporeal time as the artist’s hair grows and his face bears greater signs of fatigue with the passing of the year.
Relentless productive work of capitalism. Every hour of the day, not just 9-5, represents how work seems to spill over into all hours of the day now.
Hsieh’s performances address pure time, the constantly renewing time of the present in which we all live, not any particular time or moment in his life.
This work has a lot in common with Ma(r)king Time.