What Can Be Seen – Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, 8 Feb-7 May

9 February 2017

Museums Sheffield is hosting a major new collaborative project by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat. From 8 February – 7 May 2017, at the Millennium Gallery, What Can Be Seen will present a bold, playful reimagining of the city’s historic museum collections alongside new work by the artists, produced especially for the exhibition.

What Can Be Seen draws from the city’s diverse collections to explore how we attempt to understand the world through history, science, art, narrative and the act of collecting itself. By presenting unexpected groupings of objects from across the city’s collections, alongside fascinating series of similar items and drawings, as well as behind-the-scenes images taken in the museums store, Etchells and Horvat explore new relationships between otherwise unrelated subjects and areas of inquiry.

Visitors to What Can Be Seen will encounter a wealth of objects, specimens and images from archaeology, natural sciences, decorative art, visual art and social history, including pocket watches, biological specimens and Egyptian artefacts, as well as weather data charts, early 20th century puppets and a set of empty picture frames from which the paintings have been removed for conservation. Idiosyncratic and surprising, Etchells and Horvat’s project zooms in again and again on the act of care, observation and study by curators, scientists, artists and others as they try to understand, record and communicate the world we live in.

The exhibition also includes two new series of photographic works produced by Etchells and Horvat, titled No Contextual Information and Card Index (Details) (both 2017). Images comprising these series bring to the foreground the “hidden” processes and systems used by the institution and its curators as they engage in the collecting, cataloging and keeping track of objects in their care.

Upcoming Gigs

28 October 2016
Tim Etchells and Aisha Orazbayeva in Seeping Through.


* Tim will present improvised solo performances at the art fair ARTISSIMA as part of Per4m on 3 November 2016.

* Tim and collaborator violinist Aisha Orazbayeva present their dynamic improvised sound/voice performance Seeping Through at Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate Friday 11 November and
at Camden People’s Theatre in London Sat 26 November at 9pm.

* Tim’s work with Forced Entertainment is in a mini-residency at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts in Brighton from 10 – 12 of November 2016. The group present the UK premiere of Real Magic, their new performance directed by Tim, and their 6 hour improvised durational work around storytelling And on the Thousandth Night.

* Tim’s collaboration with choreographer Meg Stuart – an improvised evening under the title Shown & Told – is at Kaaitheater in Brussels from 30 November – 2 December 2016.

* Tim’s neon Let’s Pretend (Large) is still gracing the exterior of The Grundy art gallery in Blackpool as part of Neon: The Charged Line which runs until 7 January 2017.

Eyes Looking – Times Square, New York, October 2016

16 October 2016
Eyes Looking - video installation for Times Square - Tim Etchells. Image courtesy of the artist.

Eyes Looking. Hands Holding. Hearts Beating. Fingers Touching. Brains Thinking. Feet Walking.

Eyes Looking is a new video work from Tim Etchells. This multi-channel video installation – a commission for Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment – will be shown on the jumbotron screens in Times Square, New York throughout October 2016 as part of Crossing The Line festival.

Eyes Looking shows a series of short phrases spelled out in letters made of ice, which dissolve to water, the words turning repeatedly to pattern, shape, and reflection. The different displays across Times Square will show different phrases appearing in dialogue with each other, creating unexpected variations, scramblings and re-imaginings of the body and its activities.

Eyes Touching. Hands Walking. Blood Listening. Ears Looking.

Etchells’ texts at the heart of Eyes Looking draw attention to the human beings who pass through Times Square in the present, as well as those who have been there in the past. The work highlights the small actions and human details that bring us together, generating a sense of the multitude of living, breathing and moving bodies present together in the public space of a city.

The Give & Take – Tim Etchells’ Residency for Tate Exchange at Tate Modern

29 September 2016
Image from Tim Etchells performance 'Further Provocations' at Tate Exchange 2016

This week I’m in residence at Tate Modern, London, for the opening of Tate Exchange, located on Level 5 of the new building, Switch House. My programme consists of separate but overlapping events that run from Thursday 29 September until Sunday October 2nd.

Bunched under the name The Give & Take my residency explores the idea of exchange in different spheres of life, work and society; the complex processes by which we teach and learn from each other, the systems we are caught in that both frustrate and make possible our connection. The work itself is constructed as an exchange – a framework of events that’s built to encourage conversations, meetings, arguments, encounters between members of the public, artists and thinkers.

The work has four elements and starting at 12pm each day is a full menu of performances, talks and conversations.

The Give & Take Talks provide a key element of the residency. It’s a series of events in which a great list of speakers make presentations and dialogues each day, all focused on some approach to or experience of ‘exchange’. With talks about economic systems, intercultural exchange, exchange between humans and animals, exchange between family members, friendship, exchange with landscape and so , you can find the full schedule at the bottom of this post. The talks run in the Southwark Room on Level 5, Switch House, from 4pm to 8pm Friday and Saturday, and to 2-6pm Thursday and Sunday.

Three Tables is the second major element of my Tate Exchange project – a long interactive performance in which three performers (the amazing Debbie Pearson, Harun Morrison and Season Butler) exchange stories and have other interactions with the public on topics ranging from work and money, love, friendship and ephemeral things. This work runs every day in the main space on Level 5, Switch House, from 12 to 8pm Friday and Saturday, and to 6pm Thursday and Sunday.

Also present is Ten Purposes, a set of instructions distributed on cards for the public to pick up and activate in Tate, private and not-so-private performances which respond to the collection. Meanwhile the final element of my residency is Further Provocations, an ongoing performance manifested by Andrew Stevenson, in which a series of texts are endlessly painted, painted out and then repainted on the longest wall of the Level 5 gallery.

Do drop by in the next few days if you can. Take time to give and take and take and give and take in this great new initiative at Tate.

The Give & Take line-up

Thursday 29 September
14.00    Edna Weale, Retired conference interpreter and Jen Calleja, Literary translator
14.45    Laura Godfrey Isaacs, Artist and midwife and Anna Lyons, End of life doula
15.30    Kami Saedi, Retired psychiatrist and Matt Blacker, Mentoring Project manager, Hope for the Young
16.15    Sarah Sparkes, Artist and lecturer
17.00    Susan Steed, Co-founder, The Brixton Pound and Tom Hockenhull, Curator: Modern Money, The British Museum
17.45    End

Friday 30 September
16.00    Tim Etchells, Artist
16.45    Paolo Viscardi, Curator: Grant Museum of Zoology and Luke Harding, Herpetologist
17.30    Grace Gelder, Photographer and Aphra Lucesa Smith, Medical student
18.15    Diana Damian Martin, Mary Paterson and Maddy Costa, Department of Feminist Conversations
19.00    Oliver Lang, Mobile photographer and social media consultant
19.45    End

 Saturday 1 October
16.00    Reni Eddo-Lodge, Journalist and writer
16.45    Augusto Corrieri (aka Vincent Gambini), Performance artist and magician
17.30    Sanderson Jones, Co-founder, Sunday Assembly and Chloe Dyson, Co-director and Tom Mansfield, Co-founder, League of Pragmatic Optimists
18.15    Fiona Gabbert, Professor of Applied Psychology
19.00    Matt Locke, Founder, Storythings
19.45    End

Sunday 2 October
14.00    Pedro Machado, Co-artistic director, Candoco Dance Company and Performers (BSL interpreted)
14.45    Graeme Miller, Artist and theatre maker
15.30    David Easton, Investor in Africa and South Asia, CDC Group and Faiza Shaheen, Director, Class, Centre for Labour and Social Studies
16.15    Lara Pawson, Writer and author, Audrey Brown, Journalist and Vânia Gala, Choreographer and researcher
17.00    Sue Maclaine and Nadia Nadarajah, Theatre-makers and performers (BSL interpreted)
17.45    End

Works: Reflections on Failure – New York, September 16-November 12, 2016

4 September 2016

Tim’s accumulating installation work Red Sky at Night will be part of the group show ‘Works: Reflections on Failure’ at Radiator Arts in New York, from September 16-November 12, 2016.

Red Sky at Night will be alongside work from artists Daniel A. Bruce, Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, Ahmet Civelek, Jennifer Grimyser, Dana Stirling, Juliette Dumas, Shannon Finnegan, Kay Rosen, Christina Massey and George Spencer.

Uncertain Fragments (in conversation) – LADA Screens – 10 Oct 2016

27 August 2016
still from Uncertain Fragments - Hugo Glendinning & Tim Etchells - video essay, 2016


On Monday 10 October at the Live Art Development Agency in London, Tim and Hugo Glendinning will screen their video essay Uncertain Fragments, which reflects on the work and process of International Ibsen Award 2016 winners Forced Entertainment.

After the screening Tim and Hugo will be joined in a discussion with artists Karen Christopher and Hester Chillingworth, to discuss questions of documentation and ensemble practise, the impact and influence of the company, and other ideas raised in the video piece.

The screening event starts at 7pm and is free to attend.