• Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh
  • Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh

Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh

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A visually stunning documentary record and critical account of artist Tehching Hsieh's epic performance works.

In the vibrant downtown Manhattan art scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Taiwanese-American artist Tehching Hsieh made a series of extraordinary performance artworks. Between September 1978 and July 1986, Hsieh realized five separate one-year-long performance pieces in which he conformed to simple but highly restrictive rules throughout each entire year.

Through the course of these lifeworks, Hsieh moved from a year of solitary confinement in a sealed cell to a year in which he punched a worker's time clock in his studio every hour on the hour to a year spent living without shelter in Manhattan to a year in which he was tied by an eight-foot rope to the artist Linda Montano and finally to a year of total abstention from all art activities and influences.

In 1986 Hsieh announced that he would spend the next thirteen years making art but not showing it publicly. When this “final” lifework―an immense act of self-affirmation and self-erasure―came to a close at the turn of the millennium, he tersely and enigmatically said that during this time he had simply kept himself alive.

After years of near-invisibility, Hsieh collaborated with the British writer and curator Adrian Heathfield to create this meticulous and visually arresting documentary record of the complete body of Tehching Hsieh's performance projects from 1978 to 1999.

This milestone volume is now available in a paperback edition featuring the full text and all the illustrations in the 2005 hardcover (now out of print), with an updated list of Hsieh's exhibitions.

Designed by David Caines Unlimited

Published by MIT Press and the Live Art Development Agency, London, 2015

Softcover, 382 pages, 800 color images, 9 × 10.5 inches

ISBN: 978-0-26-252821-4

Looking makes making better.