In the ancient Roman Agora of Athens, in 2014 NEON presented This Progress by Tino Sehgal, produced by Asad Raza.
Tino Sehgal constructs situations that defy the traditional context of museum and gallery environments, focusing on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience rather than on material objects.
This Progress was presented in Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2010 with great critical acclaim. It was the first time it was presented in Greece as it was also the first time this work is realized outdoors, outside of a museum, in a unique archaeological space. The area of the Roman Agora was carefully chosen as it feels like the work is coming back at its roots in an archaeological space of immense depth and symbolism.
This Progress elicits a different kind of viewer: a visitor is no longer only a passive spectator, but one who bears a responsibility to shape and at times to even contribute to the actual realization of the piece. The work may ask visitors what they think, but, more importantly, it underscores an individual’s own agency in the archaeological site. Regardless of whether they call for direct action or address the viewer in a more subtle sense, Sehgal’s work evokes questions of responsibility within an interpersonal relationship.
Part of NEON’s ongoing commitment to activating public spaces and enhancing public life throughout the city of Athens, the exhibition took place in the ancient Roman Agora and in an adjacent indoor location. It was open every day during the Agora’s opening hours, and continued into the night indoors.
More information about This Progress here.
Installation Views | Photographs © Natalia Tsoukala | Courtesy NEON