It’s time for Tino Seghal’s ‘encounter’

Last year’s Venice Biennale winner, Tino Seghal is showing his work ‘This is so contemporary’ at the Art Gallery of NSW from today, Feb 6th until Feb 23rd.

On last Thursday’s episode of SOMETHING ELSE, Ira and Julia spoke about Seghal and his work to Emma Pike from the Kaldor Public Art Projects.

Listen to the podcast here


Berlin based artist, Tino Seghal has been putting on solo shows since his mid-20s (he is now 37) and has become a fixture on the international Biennial circuit. His work is cross-disciplinary, physical and choreographic often described as “living sculptures” or, by Seghal himself, as “constructed situations” enacted by trained interpreters who often talk, dance and sing.

Seghal studied political economy and dance, an intriguing combination that to this day guides his work. In reaction to our obsession with objects and their acquisition, Seghal explores ways to create something outside the usual cycle of production and consumption. His focus is therefore on creating experiences.

His pieces are made of balletic tableaus and social encounters; they have features of theatre and dance but are designed for museums and art fairs, places that rely on a proliferation of valuable things. By staging his situations in galleries, Sehgal relishes the unique opportunity to challenge the institutional worship of objects: “The museum is this place where objects are given amazing value, and it seemed interesting to go into this place and not do that” says Seghal.


Seghal’s works test the limits of artistic material and audience perception in a new and significant way. He has described his artistic medium as ”people’s attention” rather than paint or pencil. Unlike when viewing traditional sculpture, in ‘This is so contemporary’ you’re no longer a passive viewer, but an active participant, directly engaging with a constructed situation. In a sense, these artwork don’t exist until you become a part of it.

‘This is so Contemporary’ is showing at the Art Gallery of NSW from February 6th to 23rd.
The showing is FREE.