Tim Etchells (1962) is an artist and a writer based in the UK.
My work begins from a set of personal concerns, strategies and obsessions. Its manifestations are diverse and created in dialogue with the possibilities of different media and contexts. Much of my work has been collaborative in some way I have led the performance group Forced Entertainment since its inception in 1984. I have worked extensively with photographer Hugo Glendinning as well as creating projects with a range of visual artists, choreographers, programmers including Vlatka Horvat, Franko B and Meg Stuart. Many of my works and projects have been commissioned by major European Festivals, as well as attracting support in the UK from the RSA, BBC Radio, Photo'98 and many other others.
At one level, my work is concerned with liveness and presence, with the unfolding of events in time. At the center of these pieces is something (an event, an idea, an object) that is at the same time obscured and exposed, unraveled and assembled. The processes, mechanisms and economies of this appearance and dissapearance are the subject of my practice.
My strategies relate to gaming and playing, to the dynamics of liveness and provisionality and to the processes of cataloguing, ordering and listing through text and image. Many of the works aim to explore the relation between what is seen and what is said or read as the structure and economies of language are considerable preoccupations for me. My work often evokes structures from popular culture, from movie genres, or from language itself, relying on the viewer's embedded knowledge to create a play between what is expected and what is offered. As a result, the work often shifts between recognition and coherence on the one side and strangeness or incoherence and on the other.
I have written and published
extensively on new performance and installation in books and
in journals including Performance Research, ArtPress
and Frieze. I have taught workshops, given lectures and
run projects extensively in the UK and in Europe in a variety
of contexts, from Das Arts Amsterdam to Tisch in New York and
Goldsmiths, London. My collection of short fiction, Endland
Stories, was published in December 1998 by Pulp Books, whilst
Routledge published a selection of critical writing and performance
texts, entitled Certain Fragments, in Spring 1999. A third
book, The Dream Dictionary (for the Modern Dreamer)
was published by Duckworth's in June 2001. I am currently a Creative
Research Fellow at Lancaster University.