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Out of Now, The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh

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

Hardback 24.5cm x 32cm, Paperback 23cm x 26.5cm. 384 pages, 173 colour and 140 black and white photographs throughout

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“This impressive and beautifully written book offers the first comprehensive study of an outstanding body of work. An extraordinary performance!”

Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of exhibitions & programmes and director of international projects, Serpentine Gallery, London

“There is a lot of love in this publication, not in the hagiographic sense, but in the pastoral sense. It’s not often that an artist receives the kind of respectful, patient, uncompromising, searching attentiveness that Adrian Heathfield, the author (in this instance writer/editor), has brought to his subject. All the works are contextualised and analysed with an authority that doesn’t flatten… Compiled in this way, and against expectation, they seem to create a kind of poetics of facticity.”

Real Time, 2009

“Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh is a handsome and imposing volume, demanding proper room on one’s bookshelf just as much as the artworks it concerns demand their place in histories of performance and art. There is a profound dialogue under way in this project, between the visible appearance of this giant object and the very quality of the work it documents.”

Contemporary Theatre Review, 2009

‘Tehching Hsieh has created a profound body of “lifeworks” that integrate the live with the aesthetic, producing hybrid experiences that question the very nature of what we call “art.” This brilliant book, which includes documentation and smart, poetic, and historically inflected writing by Heathfield is an invaluable record of Hsieh’s work. A unique commentary on the writing of the histories of art and performance.’

Amelia Jones, Robert A. Day Professor in Art and Design, Vice-Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California

Out of Now is the first major publication on the extraordinary and influential Taiwanese-American artist Tehching Hsieh. In the vibrant downtown Manhattan art scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Tehching Hsieh made an exceptional series of artworks: five separate one-year-long performances that were unprecedented in their use of physical difficulty over extreme durations and in their absolute conception of art and life as simultaneous processes. After years of near-invisibility, Hsieh has now collaborated with the writer and curator Adrian Heathfield to create this meticulous and visually arresting record of the complete body of his artworks from 1978-1999.

Out of Now is the first extensive critical account of these remarkable works. Heathfield’s astute meditation is complemented by an intensive exchange with the artist and a set of letters from leading art theorists Peggy Phelan and Carol Becker, and the internationally acclaimed artists Marina Abramovic, Santiago Sierra, and Tim Etchells.


Read a review of Out of Now by Theron Schmidt on AN Interface.

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