cologne

Tino Sehgal

Johnen + Schöttle

As I write these lines, I can’t help but wonder if I’m betraying Tino Sehgal, a Berlin-based artist whose performances—he doesn’t even like them to be called that—have been garnering attention for around three years. For while performance art depends on having a witness to its existence, be it a photograph, a written report, or carefully preserved relics, Sehgal eschews any kind of documentation. There aren’t even any invitation cards or press releases for his works. Nothing should remain to prove their existence, not even discussions, but then again—how can he prevent it?

So, yes, I’ve decided for betrayal. I have seen three of Sehgal’s pieces: In Venice during the last Biennale, among the throngs at “Utopia Station,” there was suddenly heard a voice singing, which, if one sought it out, belonged to a uniformed guard. Then, in London during the 2003 Frieze Art Fair, I found

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