Tim Etchells’ practice is concerned with tropes of performativity, liveness and presence. Binaries of exposure and concealment, construction and deconstruction, appearance and disappearance are explored through a framework of LCD monitors, computer screens, the stage, the space of a page, a gallery, a found site, a street, or some private space. Etchells’ interventions in these spaces and moments explore the dynamic relationship between the viewer and work in a context where systems in language and culture are interrogated for their productive or constraining effects. Many works produce a kind of non-linearity, an autonomous assembly and deconstruction of encounters and processes.
Tim Etchells (b. 1962, Sheffield, UK) lives and works between London and Sheffield. He has produced major commissions for public space internationally including; ‘With/Against’, Great Exhibition of The North and BALTIC, Gateshead; ‘Different Today’, SITE Gallery, Sheffield; his poster project ‘And For The Rest’ created and presented in: Brussels (2014), Basel (2015), and Athens (2016); ‘Vacuum Days (Utrecht)’ (2016); and ’Eyes Looking’ a video installation which took over Times Square, NYC, commissioned as part of Times Square Arts Alliance ‘Midnight Moments’ series (2016).
His work has been presented internationally with solo exhibitions at galleries and museums including: Kunstverein Braunschweig, DE; TATE Modern, London, UK; Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK; Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK; Jakopič Gallery, Ljubljana, SI; Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, PL; Gasworks, London, UK; and Künstlerhaus Bremen, Bremen, DE.
Solo fair presentations include: Frieze Sculpture 2018, London, UK; A Performance Affair, Brussels, Belgium (2018); Dallas Art Fair, Dallas, US (2016); and at Perf4m ARTISSIMA, Turin, Italy (2016). His collaboration with violinist Aisha Orazbayeva ‘Seeping Through (Decouverte)’ was performed at FIAC, Palais De Decouverte, Paris (2016).
Etchells’ work was included in: Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, UK, (2014); Gotenburg International Biennale, Sweden, (2011); and Manifesta 7, Rovereto, Italy, (2008). Further group exhibitions and performance programmes at galleries and museums internationally, include: Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna, AT (2020); Ebensperger Rhomberg, Berlin, DE (2019); Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, DE (2018); Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, DE (2017); The Showroom, London, UK (2017); The Grundy, Blackpool, UK (2016); Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2015); Compton Verney, Warwickshire, UK (2015); Cubitt Gallery, London, UK (2015); Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2014); Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2013); Württembergischer, Kunstverein Stuttgart, DE (2012); and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich, UK, (2011).
Etchells has concurrently led the performance group Forced Entertainment, based in Sheffield since its inception in 1984. Forced Entertainment are widely considered to be one of the greatest British theatrical exports of the past 30 years, credited with producing some of the most innovative and challenging theatre of the era to great acclaim throughout the world. In 2016, Etchells was awarded the Spalding Gray Award well as the International Ibsen Award for his work with Forced Entertainment.
Etchells has recently released a new book of short stories titled ‘Endland’ published by And Other Stories.