January 1, 2009. On reading Erica Orden's "Collecting Smoke" text in New York Magazine examining MoMA's upcoming two year performance art initiative, which includes a Marina Abramovic retrospective and the acquisition of Tino Sehgal's The Kiss, all under the direction of the very enterprising Klaus Biesenbach, I felt compelled to jot down a couple of thoughts. A version of the text below also appears as a comment under my pseudonym on the New York Magazine site.
Klaus Biesenbach and Glenn Lowry, 2004
Tino Sehgal was selected for the German pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale, was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize, and has been a darling of a small but influential coterie of international jet setting curators of which Biesenbach counts himself a particularly ambitious member. So it is not surprising to see MoMA finally buy one of the "constructed situations" pieces, following the lead of the Tate and the Walker. To paraphrase another Sehgal work, "This Is Not New", especially for a curator eager to establish his bonafides over an entire realm of artmaking.