Tim Etchells

Tim Etchells is a pioneering British artist, writer and performance maker who's interdisciplinary practice is concerned with tropes of performativity, liveness and presence. Binaries of exposure and concealment, construction and deconstruction, appearance and disappearance are explored in a body of work that takes multiple forms including performance, sculpture, drawing, video and installation, presented in multiple contexts, from galleries to public sites and found spaces.

Tim Etchells, Live Like, 2020. Neon. 55 x 1583 cm. Photographer: Luca Pintacuda.
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Tim Etchells, Live Like, 2020. Neon. 55 x 1583 cm. Photographer: Luca Pintacuda.
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Tim Etchells, Live Like, 2020. Neon. 55 x 1583 cm. Photographer: Luca Pintacuda.
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Tim Etchells, Live Like, 2020. Neon. 55 x 1583 cm. Photographer: Luca Pintacuda.
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Tim Etchells, Never There, 2020. Charcoal on archival paper. 29.7 x 42 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Away, 2020. Charcoal on archival paper. 29.7 x 42 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Slow Down, 2020. Charcoal on archival paper. 29.7 x 42 cm.
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Tim Etchells, ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, 2019. Neon, three transformers. 23 x 734 cm.
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Tim Etchells, NO REASON, 2019. Neon, three transformers. 50 x 938 cm.
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Tim Etchells, For Everything, 2018. Neon, two transformers. 37 x 116 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Everything Is Lost, 2018. Powder coated stainless steel. 200 x 300 x 290 cm. Frieze Sculpture 2018, London, UK
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Tim Etchells, Everything is Lost, 2018. Powder coated stainless steel. 200 x 300 x 290 cm. Witley Court, UK. Photographer: Stefan Handy.
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Tim Etchells, Everything is Lost (detail), 2018. Powder coated stainless steel. 200 x 300 x 290 cm. Witley Court, UK. Photographer: Stefan Handy.
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Tim Etchells, All Going, 2018. A6 cards containing hand-painted text fragments of a score and performance. 00:15:00. Performer: Bruno Roubicek.
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Tim Etchells, All Going, 2018. A6 cards containing hand-painted text fragments of a score and performance. 00:15:00. Performer: Bruno Roubicek.
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Tim Etchells, Best of All / What Can. 2018. Neon with sound installation. 138 x 3900 cm. Arne Jacobsen Foyer, Hannover, DE.
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Tim Etchells, More Noise Than Signal, 2016. Neon, seven transformers. Edition of 3 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Further Provocations, 2016. Wall painting performance. Part of The Give & Take at TATE Exchange.
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Tim Etchells, Eyes Looking (Loop) (screenshot), 2016. Single channel video looped, 16:9. 00:02:49. Edition of 5 (+2 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Eyes Looking (Loop) (screenshot), 2016. Single channel video looped, 16:9. 00:02:49. Edition of 5 (+2 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Mirror Pieces, 2014. Neon, twelve transformers. 436 x 148 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Ballast, 2015. Black acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 29.7 x 21 cm.
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Tim Etchells, A Ruined Voice, 2015. Red acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 42 x 29.7 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Black Sky, 2015. Purple Acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 29.7 x 21 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Human Shape, 2015. Yellow acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 21 x 29.7 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Old People, 2015. Blue acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 29.7 x 42 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Paint it Black, 2014. Single channel video. 00:03:56. Edition of 5 (+2 AP).
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Tim Etchells, News Ticker, 2015. Scrolling LED Sign. 96 x 10 x 5 cm. Edition of 3 (+2 AP).
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Tim Etchells, News Ticker, 2015. Scrolling LED Sign. 96 x 10 x 5 cm. Edition of 3 (+2 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Private Joke (James Franco), 2014. Orange acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 29.7 x 21 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Private Joke (Jay-Z), 2014. Purple acrylic on archival paper. Framed. 29.7 x 21 cm.
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Tim Etchells, Who Knows, 2014. Neon (12 Pairs, 24 Phrases). Dimensions variable. Edition of 2 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Who Knows (detail), 2014. Neon (12 Pairs, 24 Phrases). Dimensions variable. Edition of 2 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Vacuum Days, 2014-15. Set of 365 statements on A0 flyposting paper. Dimensions Variable. Edition of 3 (+1 AP). Courtesy of Hayward Gallery, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, Vacuum Days, 2014-15. Set of 365 statements on A0 flyposting paper. Dimensions Variable. Edition of 3 (+1 AP). Courtesy of Hayward Gallery, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, Conscientious Objectors, 2014. Neon. 246 x 100 cm. Edition of 3 (+1 AP). Courtesy of Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, A Broadcast /Looping Pieces, 2014-2020. Performance, note cards. Courtesy of Forced Entertainment. Photographer: Piet Janssens.
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Tim Etchells, And For The Rest, 2014. Flyposter paper. Edition of 3 (+1 AP). Brussels Poster Project 03, BE.
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Tim Etchells, And For The Rest, 2014. Flyposter paper. Edition of 3 (+1 AP). Brussels Poster Project 03, BE.
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Tim Etchells, For Words, 2013. Neon. 115 x 14 cm. Edition of 3 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, End of Story, 2012. Neon, 1 transformer. 95 x 17.5 cm. Edition of 3 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Fade to Black, 2012. Neon. 142 x 13 cm. Edition of 3 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, All We Have, 2011. Neon shown in two possible formations. 188 x 41 cm. Edition of 3 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Silence, 2011. Timed and scrolling LED display. 129 x 12 x 8 cm. Edition of 3 (+1 AP).
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Tim Etchells, Some Imperatives, 2014. Sign painting performance.
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Tim Etchells, Some Imperatives, 2014. Sign painting performance.
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Tim Etchells, In The Trees, 2020. Installation view. Braunchschweig Lichtparcours, DE. Photographer: Stefan Stark.
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Tim Etchells, The Show, 2020. Installation view. Zürich Theater Spektakel, CH.
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Tim Etchells, Between Us, 2019. Installation view. Kunsthalle Mainz, DE. Photographer: Norbert Miguletz.
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Tim Etchells, With/Against, 2018. Great Exhibition of the North, Newcastle, UK.
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Tim Etchells, With/Against, 2018. Great Exhibition of the North, Newcastle, UK.
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Tim Etchells, Open Mind, 2017. Installation view. VITRINE, Basel, CH. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Tim Etchells, Open Mind, 2017. Installation view. VITRINE, Basel, CH. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Tim Etchells, Open Mind, 2017. Installation view. VITRINE, Basel, CH. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Tim Etchells, Together Apart, 2017. Installation view. Kunstverein Braunschweig, DE. Photographer: Stefan Stark.
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Tim Etchells, Together Apart, 2017. Installation view. Kunstverein Braunschweig, DE. Photographer: Stefan Stark.
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Tim Etchells, Together Apart, 2017. Installation view. Kunstverein Braunschweig, DE. Photographer: Stefan Stark.
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Tim Etchells, Eyes Looking, 2016. Installation view. Times Square Arts Alliance ‘Midnight Moments’ series on the Times Square electronic display screens. Times Square, New York, US.
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Tim Etchells, Eyes Looking, 2016. Installation view. Times Square Arts Alliance ‘Midnight Moments’ series on the Times Square electronic display screens. Times Square, New York, US.
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Tim Etchells, More Noise, 2016. Installation View. Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK. Photographer: Hugo Glendinning.
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Tim Etchells, More Noise, 2016. Installation View. Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK. Photographer: Hugo Glendinning.
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Tim Etchells, More Noise, 2016. Installation View. Courtesy of Huge Glendinning. Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, More Noise, 2016. Installation View. Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK. Photographer: Hugo Glendinning.
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Tim Etchells, The Facts on the Ground, 2015. Installation view. VITRINE, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, The Facts on the Ground, 2015. Installation view. VITRINE, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, The Facts on the Ground, 2015. Installation view. VITRINE, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, The Facts on the Ground, 2015. Installation view. VITRINE, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, To Be Present, 2015. Installation view. Asian Arts Theatre, Gwangju, KOR.
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Tim Etchells, A MESSAGE, 2014. Installation view. Hayward Gallery, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, A Stitch In Time, 2014. Installation view. Lumiere Derry-Londonderry, NI.
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Tim Etchells, How Love Could Be, 2014. Installation view. Das Detroit-Projekt, Bochum, DE. Photographer: Michael Kneffel.
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Tim Etchells, Coming and Going is Why the Place is Here at All, 2014. Installation view. Folkestone Triennial, UK.
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Tim Etchells, Coming and Going is Why the Place is Here at All, 2014. Installation view. Folkestone Triennial, UK.
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Tim Etchells, We Wanted, 2011. Installation view. Southbank, London, UK.
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Tim Etchells, Winter Piece, 2010. Installation view. Situations for Wonders of Weston, Weston Super Mare, UK.
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Tim Etchells, Together Apart, 2017
Video documentation of Tim Etchells' audio installation 'Together Apart' at Kunstverein Braunschweig, DE in 2017.
Tim Etchells, Work Files, 2016
Video Documentation of Tim Etchells 'Work Files' performance at Per4m, ARTISSIMA, Turin, 2016.

Etchells has described his approach as exploring contradictory aspects of language in playful and poetic ways. He is drawn both to the speed, clarity and vividness with which language communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time to its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity. This can be witnessed in his innovative performance works - including ‘Work Files’ (ongoing) and ‘Moving Words’ (2019) - in which notecards or a score are used as prompts in fast moving improvised spoken word pieces, performed by the artist or a solo actor.  

Many of Etchells’ works in varied media produce a kind of non-linearity, seeking out an autonomous assembly and deconstruction of encounters and processes, both imagined and collected from fiction and the media. His major sculptural interventions in public space – often using neon or LED - 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.  

Often using simple and humorous approaches to language and form, Etchells conveys serious ideas, reflecting on global politics, contemporary identity and urban experience.

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. He has also co-edited 'Seen from Here: Writing in Lockdown' which is a "collection of stories, flash fiction, poems, autofiction and conceptual writing gathered during the April and May Covid-19 lockdown, bringing together UK-based writers, poets, performance makers and artists."

Etchells has recently been commissioned by Theater Spektakel, Zürich, CH to produce a new large scale installation titled 'The Show' and presented a new neon work for Lichtparcours 2020, Baunschweig, DE. He is currently exhibiting at Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, DE as part of 'Time for Outrage!' until 10 January 2021.

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