Tehching Hsieh at the MoMA

In New York Times on February 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm

MoMA has been making news lately.  Today’s article is about a review written by Roberta Smith in the New York Times a couple days ago.  I have chosen to include this in my blog because I saw the exhibit that she reviewed and was especially interested and affected by it (before it made headlines).  I came across the exhibit by accident when I got lost on my way out of MoMA (which is actually a regular occurrence on my visits to that museum).  It’s a small exhibit and is the first of a series of exhibits that document famous performance art pieces that artists have executed in the past.  

The first exhibit by Tehching Hsieh featured photographs of his first year-long piece called Cage Piece where he locked himself into a cell (which he crafted) and refrained from doing anything for an entire year.  Once a day he was brought food and his waste bucket was cleaned out and for limited hours his loft (where the cage was located) was open to the public so they may view him in the cage.  

The entire exhibit was captivating.  The most interesting part of it was the main room filled with 365, 4×6″ black and white photographs of the artist (1 photo for each day he was in the cage).  Though the only thing that changed about Hsieh was the length of his hair, it was fascinating to walk from start to finish to look at the progression of a year’s time.  


The cage was also included in the exhibit.  It was lit in a way that projected the shadows of the bars onto the walls around the room – as a viewer, I felt like I was locked into a cell.  


The exhibit will be up until March, I believe (I could be wrong so check the MoMA site), and it is absolutely something worth checking out.


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