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12. Duration

During the two-month-long exhibition, I wanted to be lazy as well. Don’t get me wrong, I aimed to build up a hundred percent passion in the activity (e.g., presenting Not Really Really (17-SS-4)) but, in reality, I had both positive and negative emotions during this period. I battled with this positive and negative situation in both my ordinary life and in my practice, as they impacted on each other. However, Tehching Hsieh’s attitude when producing One Year Performance 1980-1981, Time Clock Piece (1980-1981) prompted me to resist lethargy. As a result, I feel that Not Really Really (17-SS-4) and the process of the artist being present within the work is strongly influenced by Hsieh’s work. One Year Performance 1980-1981, Time Clock Piece (1980-1981) is about the artist punching the timecard every hour of every day for a whole year. Hsieh set up this work in his studio in New York and a ramification of this is that his time clock became the centre of his ordinary life. For example, he could not travel to places that were more than thirty minutes away because he was always required to go back to the time clock each hour. Hsieh tries to live in this limited time and space every day for a year.

Throughout undertaking the maintenance of Not Really Really (17-SS-4), I realize the difficulties that the artist Hsieh faced when making One Year Performance 1980-1981, Time Clock Piece (1980-1981). Both of our pieces have imposed structures that pressurize and alter the way in which we usually experience time. One Year Performance 1980-1981 became an obstruction to everything else in Hsieh’s life. Similarly, during Not Really Really (17-SS-4) I can neither have a proper conversation with people nor travel too far. Everything that I am used to doing in daily life becomes limited when showing Not Really Really (17-SS-4). My emotions are trapped in the work and it is difficult to express this in positive language because most of the emotion I digest while undertaking the work is negative. It becomes an invisible and heavy chain that is always with me. It is like a work that is never finished and the work keeps reminding you all the time that it is there.

Yun-Ling Chen, Not Really Really(16 – R – 3), 7 x 226 x 1  cm, Steel, Cement Board, Water, 2016


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