Tino Sehgal: It takes an urban village
By Nicole M. Nepomuceno and Victoria Chan
For six weeks beginning in October 2021, the Prison Yard at Hong Kong’s heritage and arts complex Tai Kwun was busier than usual. Among visitors indulging in a cool courtyard respite were the living components of Tino Sehgal’s human sculpture, These Associations (2012). Indiscernible from the common stranger at a glance, two dozen or so “interpreters”—individuals trained by Sehgal and his team specifically to activate his work—would sing, dance, and play among unsuspecting visitors continuously throughout the day. Interpolated between collective activities of walking, running, shuffling, dancing, and vocal harmonizing were moments of intimacy where interpreters would individually approach a visitor to share a personal story, which sometimes led to a deeper conversation, or even an embrace, and was often punctuated by an abrupt exit.