Human Art

I went last week to visit Magasin 3, a small modern art gallery in Stockholm. The first 2 exhibitions were good, photos and suchlike, and then I followed with my companions to see the third exhibition, by Tino Seghal.

And this was utterly bizarre.


We passed through a series of empty corridors. In the first corridor was a woman lying on the floor. This I thought was odd, but we stepped around her and continued to the main room, where the walls were white and bare. Where, we wondered, was the art?

Some people were standing around, staring at a blank wall. They started to mutter and breathe loudly. A man emerged from a door and walked backwards around the room.

This was all fine and interesting until we turned around to discover that people had sneaked up behind us and now stood there. One lady, walking backwards, kept on bumping into us and another guy was doing his best to block the exit.

In the meantime the other people kept on moving and speaking and doing general freaky stuff.

At this point one of our company made a break for it. I remained for a minute but, upon discovering that the guy blocking the way was making a conscious effort to keep on blocking the way, I did a fancy sidestep and ran for my life.

It took us a good 30 minutes to calm down and wonder what the hell we had just seen. And I realised 2 things:

1) That I had unwillingly been incorporated into something I thought would be passive art to be consumed as normal

2) That, since I believe that the job of art is always to provoke and get a reaction, this was probably the best art I had seen all year.

It was still very very fucking creepy though.

Tino Seghal, Magasin 3, Stockholm. Until May 4th. Or until somebody loses it and murders the entire exhibition.

/ paddy

10 thoughts on “Human Art

  1. Man! That would freak me the hell out.

    Yeah, it provoked a reaction, but what was the point? That strangers acting oddly freak you out? Well no duh.

  2. Uh, that would creep my out. I hate silent people doing strange stuff. Reminds me of the Toast Man that lived here before. And other social misfits. Brr.

  3. I woulda given them old one two. Jab to the body, jab to the body, then WHAM! Left hook to the chin. Then just pummel. Pummel, pummel, pummel. And the blood they spill is my nourishment. My reward. If they want art they got it.

  4. I would have liked to have seen and experienced that. Active art. If you want creepy, have you heard about the exhibition – I think it’s called Bodies – using real dead bodies? No, seriously. Japanese artist, I think.

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