This page focuses on my current activities in visual art, writing and independent performance projects.
Please look at the Forced Entertainment website, if you want more information about the company and upcoming gigs.

Upcoming Exhibitions

26 June 2018
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Great Exhibition of the North

Tim’s latest commission is a large-scale site-specific LED text sculpture, With/Against 2018 for Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, shown as part of the Great Exhibition of the North (22 June – 28 August 2018). It occupyes a prominent position besides Baltic and above South Shore Road. The work looks out across the River Tyne, and can be viewed from the Gateshead Quayside or from the neighbouring Newcastle waterfront, providing a point of connection between the two.

The exhibition will run from 22 June to 28 August 2018. More information here.

Frieze Sculpture 2018

Tim’s work has been selected for Frieze Sculpture 2018 which runs in Regent’s Park, London for three months this summer. The exhibition features works by 25 contemporary and modern artists selected and placed by Clare Lilley (Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park).

Tim will show a new 3D piece, in powder coated stainless steel, titled Everything is Lost (2018). In place from 4 July to 7 October 2018, Frieze Sculpture is located in the English Gardens of The Regent’s Park. Entrance to Frieze Sculpture is free to the public.

 

In So Many Words – Lân fan taal 2018

22 January 2018
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The project Lân fan Taal (Republic of Languages) forms part of the Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018 and is the site for a major new commission, In So Many Words, by Tim Etchells which inaugurates the newly constructed OBE Pavillion in Leewarden .

For Lân fan Taal – an exploration and celebration of language diversity, Tim has created three connected works grouped under the collective title In So Many Words.

Hear/Höre/Hoor/Hear’ is an installation of 88 single neon words in Frisian, German, Dutch and English, where each word refers to different uses of human speech or sound, from ‘whisper’ and ‘sing’ to ‘confess’, ‘describe’, ‘translate’ and ‘question’. Alphabets, is a multi-layered sound installation on ten speakers that mixes approximately 50 languages, the composition built from recordings of speakers who each recite the alphabet, with examples of words that start with each letter. To Talk To You, meanwhile is a recording by Etchells himself, comprising improvised repetitions and variations the same sentence, addressed  to the visitor in the form of a series of phone messages.

The installations In So Many Words will run from February to October 2018. More information here.

Kunsthalle for Music

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From 25 January till 3 March 2018 Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam will transform into the Kunsthalle for Music, a contemporary space for the live exhibition of musical works.

Kunsthalle for Music is the large-scale institutional project of Ari Benjamin Meyers investigating and researching what it means to create a new institution for music in an art context today.

The repertoire of the ensemble has a wide range of commissions and a set of existing works by various artists and composers including Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Jonathan Bepler, Libia Castro, Ólafur Ólafsson, Wojtek Blecharz, Peter Fengler, Hassan Khan, Sora Kim, Yoko Ono and Tim Etchells, amongst others.

Tim’s work is a composition called ‘Of Sound Body’ from 2017.

25 January – 3 March 2018.

More information here.

Was sind die Wolken? (What Are the Clouds?) Kunstgebäude Stuttgart

12 December 2017
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Artists
Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, CPKC (Emily Fahlén, Peter Spillmann, Marion von Osten), Tim Etchells, Glenn Ligon, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Catarina Simao, Ana Torfs, Ana Vaz, a.o.

Curators
Iris Dressler, Christine Peters

The exhibition Was sind die Wolken? (What Are the Clouds?) takes as its point of departure the Reformation Anniversary in order to reflect on freedom, emancipation, and imagination from the perspective of contemporary art. The exhibition’s main starting point is the short film Che cosa sono le nuvole? (What Are the Clouds?) from the year 1968, by the Italian film director, author, and journalist Pier Paolo Pasolini. This film revolves around a performance of Shakespeare’s Othello as a marionette theater—with the marionettes played by actors on strings. During the play, the marionettes question both their roles and their actions, with even the audience rebelling against the narrative. More info here.

Was sind die Wolken? (What Are the Clouds?) features two new works by Tim Etchells – a wall text installation Of And From (On Freedom)  and a scrolling L.E.D. text work titled W.S.L.S

Can You See What I Am Saying – Kunsthalle Mainz – 7 November

6 November 2017
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Can You See What I Am Saying
An Evening of Performance with Tim Etchells and Vincent Gambini
 

Can You See What I Am Saying presents solos by artist Tim Etchells and magician Vincent Gambini. In his improvised performances, Etchells creates a dynamic and unstable landscape of spoken language in which meaning slips, stutters, disappears and transforms. Gambini meanwhile works with bewildering close-up magic to guide viewers through a subversive and comical philosophical investigation.

November 7, 7pm

Kunsthalle Mainz

Upcoming Exhibitions 2017

16 August 2017
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To See or Not to be at Kunsthalle Mainz

Tim’s neon work Let’s Pretend (Large), alongside his prints City Changes, his series of drawings Ghosts and video work Erasure will feature in the exhibition To See or Not to be at Kunsthalle Mainz that runs from 1 September – 19 November 2017The show brings together strategies for disappearance, dissolution and transformation. It first explores physical and mental disappearance, then goes on to consider our approach to these issues, a process that commences as soon as a particular form or material aide de memoire is no longer recognisable.

A Choreographed Exhibition at CA2M, Madrid

Tim will also be part of A Choreographed Exhibition curated by Mathieu Copeland at CA2M in Madrid from the 19 September -15 October 2017. Two instruction-based choreographic works for three performers by Tim will feature in this show.

Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb) at The Showroom, London

At the opening night of Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb) Tim will do an improvised performance Work Files (Showroom). Curated by the Croatian curatorial collective WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Romberg, and Emily Pethick at The Showroom, the show is a contextualisation and rethinking of the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection. Preview Tuesday 19 September 6.30 – 8.30pm 2017 and the exhibition runs until the 11 November. 

RE RE RE at Chelsea College of Art Summer Show, London

Tim’s work Some Imperatives and Emergency Telephone  will be shown as part of the MA Curating show at Chelsea College of Art entitled RE RE RE. Preview Friday 8 September 6-9pm and the exhibition will run until the 14 September 2017. 

Emergency at SAVVY Contemporary – documenta 14

20 June 2017
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Walking and Thinking

30 May 2017
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Translation of Michael Stoibers text in Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, March 15, 2017.

Walking and Thinking

Empty is more: The British multi-talent Tim Etchells is exhibiting at Kunstverein Braunschweig
By Michael Stoeber

There has never been so much emptiness with such a simultaneous abundance of thoughts at Kunstverein Braunschweig. It’s due to the British multi-talent Tim Etchells. The artist, born in 1962, has made a name as playwright, performer, writer, and stage director. He especially became famous for founding and leading the performance group Forced Entertainment, which enriches the contemporary theater for more than 30 years with smart plays, brave improvisations, and touching slapsticks. In the past, they were part of the Theaterformen-Festivals in Braunschweig and Hanover for several times.

Activated audience

Etchells appearance is magnificent. He transforms the 15 exhibition rooms of the Villa Salve Hospes in a brilliant manner into a resonance chamber of his improved and spoken audio play. When visitors enter the first room, they become surrounded by the allover distributed, strictly and anthropomorphically acting black loudspeakers with the artist’s voice persuading: “Go with your head”–Do what your mind is telling you. Tim Etchells repeats the order several times, whereby he changes its rhythmic and pronunciation. In an almost musically manner it recharges over and over again with a new feeling and meaning.

An adjacent loudspeaker acts out the exact opposite command “Go with your heart”–Follow your heart. These contradictory, acoustically layered imperatives form a conflict, a drama of values. It affects the visitor’s head, where it will be rethought. They evoke that Etchells’ performance will not remain with him, but rather it becomes the matter of its listener in an Aristotelian meaning. Alike the theatrical praxis of Forced Entertainment, it activates the audience similarly intelligent and irresistible. Speaking in Braunschweig means fulfilling actions with words in the sense of the speech act theory.

The artist’s opening performance emphasized that as well. Walking up and down like those Greek philosophers, who thought while walking, he finds his improvised sentences. First at a measured step, then in a faster and more ecstatic running. As if he wants to demonstrate how strong moving and thinking, epiphany and action is related to each other. “Moving words”–words moving: Etchells’ first sentence showcases his art strategy and reveals in a second interpretation, how much words are able to move us. He names other paces, which focus on the entirety of our existence; including: “It’s touch and go” or “Dance”.

For the aphorisms of his audio play, the artist used English phrases, which work metaphorically with the body. We become linguistically fragmented, and the trick consists of still finding unity. Nothing else means the paradox title “Together Apart”. A linguistic link of “Pull yourself together” and Tim Etchells’ invention “Tear yourself apart”. There is hope in the contradictory alliance. Not only for the fate of individuals, but also maybe for that of whole societies.

Three Tables Returns to Tate Exchange

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From June 15-18 my interactive performance Three Tables is at Tate Exchange. It’s running from mid-day onwards and continues until the building closes each day. Do please stop by to Level 5, Blavatnik Building at Tate Modern and join in the work.

Three Tables is a long interactive work in which three performers seated in the open space of Tate Exchange, draw members of the public into conversations and exchanges on topics that range from work and money to ephemeral things and friendship, family and love. It’s a simple but complicated piece, presented this time by performers Season Butler, Deborah Pearson and Souheil Sleiman (who steps into the shoes of Harun Morrison). I’m really happy that it’s back and that more people will get a chance to take part.

We first presented Three Tables last year, as part of the opening of Tate Exchange and it worked really well – a low key format that ebbed and flowed to create some really intense conversations and encounters between strangers. The piece depends on the performers of course, who are really adept and open in their approach, but it’s also very reliant on and open to visitors to the gallery taking up the invitation of the piece to conversation and discussion.

In the same time period Tate are also re-presenting my piece Further Provocations, manifested by Andrew Stevenson, in which a series of texts are repeatedly painted, painted out and then repainted on the longest wall in the Exchange space.

Hope to see you at Tate over the days.

Schedule for Three Tables

15 June 2017 at 12.00–18.00

16 June 2017 at 12.00–18.00

17 June 2017 at 12.00–18.00

18 June 2017 at 12.00–18.00

Together Apart. Solo show, Kunsteverein Braunschweig – 4 March-14 May

1 March 2017
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Developed specifically for Kunstverein Braunschweig, Tim Etchells’ work Together Apart encompasses all fifteen rooms of  the Villa Salve Hospes.

In this expansive sound installation, language, not a physical object, is the focus. Multiple loudspeakers project the voice of an individual who gives visitors instructions; these consist of English forms of speech that metaphorically refer to different parts of the body: “Go with your heart,” “Keep your eyes peeled,” and “Keep your nose out of it.” While viewers attempt to mentally decipher, or perhaps physically implement , the mantra-like phrases of these interwoven sounds, the words take on a degree of urgency due to their presence in the space. As a listener, one inevitably has a sense of being personally addressed, and one finds oneself drawn into the situation.

Together Apart sparks associations that accompany or even guide visitors on a social, architectural, physical, and mental level as they make their way through the exhibition spaces. The sound collage repeatedly gives rise to perplexing moments, when scraps of text seem to alternate between their literal and metaphorical meanings or when these meaning seem to break down into syllables of sound through repetition.

Together Apart is at Kunstverein Braunschweig from 4 March – 14 May, 2017.

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