tehching hsieh

two days before yesterday i was the luckiest duck in germany to have the chance to meet tehching hsieh and hear him talk about his work.
he is now very well known for his one year performances.
i was in a way almost shocked when i saw the pictures and started to imagine in detail what it really means to handle time, to "waste" time in these radical dimensions, spending one year in a cage, one year tied to another artist, one year on the streets without a roof over the head, one year punching a punch clock each hour.
i couldn´t stop thinking the ordinary thoughts. how could he live so long without a girl- or boy-friend, without celebrations at night, bicycle tours through the landscapes, travels and trips through the world, evenings with friends, walking dogs or sitting on roof tops. these things.
he said one thing at the beginning that was so full of truth: when he came to new york from taiwan, he was an illegal immigrant, he had no girl friend, no personal life. doing these performances transcended the restrictions and density of his everyday life as a noone and gave him an identity, put his life into another, a much larger and more generous context. one of art, time and timelessness, philosophy, ideas. he also talked about kafka and beckett and said his work had nothing to do with buddha or religion, he said he´s a complete atheist and dislikes meditation.
doing these performances raised and lifted him up. it constituted his life. i understood.
what does it mean to live life? we are all just spending time. dealing with time, watching it pass until we die. and there is nothing ordinary or normal about this. it is completely crazy, absurd, tragic, wonderful, a mystery, a nonsense and without reason.
i can´t really talk about his work, because what he did makes every word seem so false and shaming.
i fell so in love with him, seeing his small and tender body on the stage, hearing his broken english, his humbleness and sense of humor. he was so funny and nice and completely unneurotic and grateful.
he certainly did give me ideas to live for that evening.

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