Interpreting Tino Sehgal

Justin E. H. Smith in his blog:

6a00d83453bcda69e2017d432cbeb9970c-350wiI recently worked as an 'interpreter', to use the term of art, in This Situation, a work by Tino Sehgal on exhibit at the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montreal throughout most of March and April, 2013. My reasons for signing on to this project are several, including some having to do with the commitments that ensue from friendship, and some, I'll confess, with my seemingly constitutional inability to get my financial situation in order (peers in a similar stage of their careers are using words like 'refinance' and 'diversify'; I'm out in the moonlight scraping together a security deposit for a short-term sublet in Paris). More importantly, I went into it in the hope that I would come out the other end with a properly informed critical judgment about the work and about the state of contemporary art. When I was a lad I enthused about every new thing that came along. I would shell out for CDs with recordings of HVAC sounds in office buildings, and would go to the Pompidou and look at Joseph Beuys' rolled-up carpets or whatever and think some inarticulate thought along the lines of: Fuck you, stuffy old people. In more recent years I have come to feel that modernity was already bad enough, let alone whatever is supposed to have come after it, and I spend most of my time thinking about things one could just as easily have thought about when Oedipus Rex first realized what he'd done. I'm not nearly as contemporary as this thing I've just been involved in, I mean to say, and this necessarily constrains what sort of things I shall be able to say about it.

More here.