Tim Etchells

Tim Etchells work is diverse, moving from a base in performance into visual art and fiction. Working across these different media and contexts tends to open up new possibilities and allows him to approach related ideas and experiences again by different routes, hoping to get closer or maybe further away - searching for a new perspective.

“In performance and in art practice my work is often concerned with liveness and presence, with the unfolding of events in time and place. Place where this happens could be the TV or computer screen, a stage, the space of a page, a gallery, a found site, or some private space – a room or a car for instance – in which a person might listen to the radio. Something happens - there is an encounter, a process, the unfolding of an event and its implications. At the centre of much of my work there is often an event, an idea, or an object that is at the same time obscured and exposed, unravelled and assembled. The mechanisms and economies of this process – its exposure and disappearance - are at the heart of what I do.
In my fiction I’m interested in finding new approaches to story and to character, as well as in exploring the limits and possibilities of language itself. I’m often drawn to very particular languages or voices, and to collaging or creating collisions between seemingly disconnected voices and worlds. Slang or blunt pub anecdote, for instance, might sit side by side in my writing with internet technical jargon, B-movie quotation or phrases from fairy tales as the collection Endland Stories (Pulp Books 1999) established. My first novel; The Broken World, a kind of slacker love story crossed with a guide to a non-existent computer-game will be published by Heinemann in 2008.”

In addition to working solo, a lot of his projects in art and performance have been collaborative in some way – he has led the performance group Forced Entertainment, based in Sheffield, UK since its inception in 1984. He often collaborates with the photographer Hugo Glendinning, with writer and curator Adrian Heathfield, and with artist Vlatka Horvat. He has also done projects with artists Asta Groting and Franko B, and choreographers Meg Stuart and Wendy Houstoun, amongst others.
In terms of critical and academic work, he has taught, written and published extensively on contemporary performance and art. He is currently a Creative Research Fellow at Lancaster University.




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