When you look at a Chardin, do you complain about how the artist is controlling your experience of the painting? Do you ask, WHO is Chardin to dictate the terms of my visual perception?! When you walk into a museum you presuppose that your experience is going to be curated, crafted, controlled. That's art. My comment "He's the artist, that's why" was also directed at the fact that the review just throws around sassy claims without really justifying them or explaining them. Paddy complains about Sehgal "dictating the terms of her progress" without saying why the complaint is legitimate. I think the piece deserves more illuminating critical treatment, even if at the end of the day the criticism is negative.
Your understanding of the significance of the work just seems wrong, or at least short-sighted. You say that Sehgal "plots an escalation of inquiry which never actually breaches into the realm of applicable philosophy." I don't know what you mean by "applicable philosophy", but above someone says "it was literally one of the most thought-provoking experiences I've ever had" -- is that applicable enough? Or do you want to characterize that as "an escape into reverie"? That strikes me as a bad (presumptuous) mischaracterization. For all you know these could have been thoughts about how to "challenge the apparatus".
For my own part, one thing the work forced me to do was to reconsider the assumptions I make about strangers. I had a series of unusually deep conversations that revealed how much I have in common with complete strangers, which in my everyday practical moods I write off as completely "other". What a dangerous mistake! The piece put pressure on me to revise my view and feel the weight of that convenient mistake. And to the extent that I DO revise my view, haven't I made some progress? It's not merely "cute and contained," or a "gimmick".
Another feature of your interpretation that seems totally wrong (or at least out of left field) is the claim that Sehgal's work embodies the idea "that progress is defined throughout history by dominant forms of power." Were you reading Foucault while walking up the ramp instead of talking to your guides? You were the one asked to define progress, not Sehgal. And whatever answer you gave was respectfully and critically probed by successive guides. I really don't see where your political, and honestly rather tired, interpretation comes in. It's not a potent idea, even if it were in the piece.
Paddy. This just reads like a description of your inability to experience the artwork. "Why did Tino Sehgal get to dictate the terms of my progress?" He's the artist, that's why. Am I missing something? "I took the tour again, determined to draw further meaning out of the work." What meaning was that? You don't even discuss it. Why did you need more? You didn't like the results? What results? I personally think the Sehgal piece is fantastic, so I'd like to actually know why you don't like it, if in fact you don't.
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