Tuesday, 23 November 2010
the One Year Performance (1980-1981) by Tehching Hsieh in fact was something i couldn't really make my mind up if i 'liked' it or not. as you walk into the exhibition space the work evokes a definite respect for the man. The sheer feat of the One Year Performance commands respect and awe, even though i really struggled to empathise with the want, or need to do something along those lines to yourself. To be the honest the over riding impression i was left with was a mildly depressed feeling that the physical proof, photo by photo of Hsieh's year, didn't really ammount to much physically. being confronted with a physical representation, hour by hour of a year made me more than anything realise how little time there is in those 365 days. i assume a year is a big chunk of time, but that fact that Hsieh had used a year of his life to produce x ammount of photos left me feeling a bit depressed at the realisation of what constitutes a year.
obviously hes a well respected artist, the work is described in the fact website as 'an exceptional series of artworks: five separate one-year-long performances.'. Regardless, i really find the idea of this strain of endurance works depressing, the idea that you'd use a year of your life in such a pursuit seems completely alien to me. the whole concept of every hour of every day clocking in and taking a photo seems like a horrendous thing to want to do to yourself, i cant help but thinking of all the implications it would have on your life, and for the whole result of that year to be what it is, for me just seems like an incredibly depressing concept.