Etchells’ work will join this incredible national collection of British and international modern and contemporary art, reflecting the significant contribution his pioneering work in the field of performance has achieved over the last decade within the visual art world. The acquisition by TATE coincides with a string of institutional commissions, exhibitions and acquisitions for Tim’s work.
Etchells is an artist, writer and performance maker whose influential 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.
‘Moving Words’ is a work of variable duration, for a single performer who selects and sequences phrases from a score, repeating them, shifting inflection, nuance, tone and energy of delivery.It continues Etchells’ practice creating scored works that can be presented either by the artist or by another performer. Included in TATE’s acquisition of the performance is the score for the work comprising 13 A5 acrylic drawings.
Etchells says: “I’m thrilled that after a long process engaging with my performance work, ‘Moving Words’ will become part of the TATE collection – the first work of mine Tate has acquired. It means that the performance can be presented in different versions in the museum in the times yet to come, but also demonstrates the museum’s ongoing engagement with live and otherwise ephemeral practice, something which means a lot to me.”
Image: Tim Etchells, Moving Words, 2019. Documentation of theScore (1 of 13 A5 cards).