Tehching Hsieh - One Year Performance, 1980 - 1981

Tehching Hsieh's work, informed through a period spent in New York City without a visa, experiments with time. He was actively 'wasting his time' by setting up a stringent set of conditions within five different year-long performances. The driving force for an individual to perform such extreme actions must surely be the ultimate cipher for being emotionally, psychologically touched - and that, ultimately, is a gift. His work poses the question: as humans how can we afford not to be touched?

An artist who has been mythologised since retiring from making art in 2000, this is the first exhibition of Hsieh's work in the UK. The exhibition focuses on documentation of his performance 'life work', One Year Performance 1980-1981. For one year, the artist punched a worker's time clock located in his studio, on the hour, every hour. Marking the occasion by taking a self-portrait on a single frame of 16mm film, the resulting reel documents a year in his life at approximately one second per day - a pace that is the polar opposite of the enduring length of the original performance. The punch cards, witnessed by a third party for  authenticity, and other ephemera document Hsieh's life restructured around this highly repetitive task.

Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980 -1981, Punching the Time Clock.

 Photography by Michael Shen
© 1981 Tehching Hsieh
Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery and the artist

Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980 -1981
Installation view at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), September 17 to 28 November 2010
© Tehching Hsieh
Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery and the artist

Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980 -1981
The First Five Hours of Images and the Last Five Hours of Images in the Year
© 1981 Tehching Hsieh
Images from Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh

;