Exclusive Extract: Adrian Heathfield and Tehching Hsieh interview

In this exclusive extract from the new paperback edition of Out of Now, The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh, editor Adrian Heathfield interviews Tehching about his process and his exceptional series of One Year Performance artworks.

          One Year Performance, 1981- 1982
AH: One of the most radical dynamics of your performance pieces is the way that they make art and life simultaneous, so that the two activities cannot be separated. This collision is made absolute by your use of long durations. When you started making work, why did you decide the performances would take a year? And did you know that you would be making a long series of One Year Performances?

TH: The reason I chose to use one year for the first piece was to do with my life experience. At that time, I had been an illegal immigrant in the States for four years. I earned money to survive and tried to do my art but without a smooth advance. One day, after work, I was walking back and forth doing my thinking in the studio. Suddenly, I thought, “Why don’t I make the process of thinking about art in my studio an artwork, and present it using a long duration?” I had spent a lot of time in this situation of isolation, as if I was doing time. Giving the thinking process an art form, my idea would be embodied. Also I knew that to present life, I needed to use a long duration. One year is a basic unit for human beings to calculate life, and it is also the time the earth takes to circle the sun completely.

Read More