Tim Etchells has been awarded the 2016 Spalding Gray Award.
Named after the groundbreaking monologist Spalding Gray (1941–2004), the award is sponsored by a consortium that includes Kathleen Russo, Gray’s widow; Performance Space 122; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; and On the Boards in Seattle. The Award comes with a commission to create a new work and provides for a full production of that work presented by each organization. Past recipients include Richard Maxwell, Rabih Mroué, National Theater of the United States of America, Radiohole, and Heather Woodbury.
Ben Harrison, Curator of Performing Arts & Public Programs at the Andy Warhol Museum, says, “Tim Etchells is an artist that certainly embodies the essence of the Spalding Gray award, in terms of being a ‘fearless innovator of theatrical form.’ Etchells’ solo work and that with his ensemble Forced Entertainment crosses several platforms and contexts (theater, gallery-based, site-specific), that plays at the boundaries of contemporary performance, whilst largely creating intimate, text-based work that poignantly speaks to a sense of abjection in an increasingly mediated global culture.”
The Spalding Gray Award was announced 18th February at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago at an opening reception for Forced Entertainment’s current retrospective there, co-hosted by The British Council and the MCA Chicago. The retrospective includes presentations of The Notebook, and Speak Bitterness, excerpts from Complete Works: Tabletop Shakespeare and an event as part of Etchells’ ongoing collaboration with Matthew Goulish, The Institute of Failure.
With the Spalding Gray Award, Etchells will collaborate with Forced Entertainment to create a new performance piece titled Real Magic which premieres in Germany this May, and will tour to venues in the US during 2016 and 2017.